Journal Article

When a Rose is Not a Rose: Military Commissions <i>v</i>. Courts-Martial

Richard V. Meyer

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 5, issue 1, pages 48-58
Published in print March 2007 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online March 2007 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
When a Rose is Not a Rose: Military Commissions v. Courts-Martial

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The Military Commissions Act developed a judicial system based upon that of General Courts-Martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The military commissions will use many of the same personnel and share some procedures with general courts-martial, but certain aspects show them to be very dissimilar. Specifically: the revised evidentiary rules on coerced statements, hearsay and classified evidence; the lack of speedy trial rights; the absence of a formal pre-trial investigation; and the failure to apply case law precedent. These differences will have significant secondary effects on the process that are not favourable to a defendant. As a result of both the primary and secondary effects of the differences, the commissions will provide significantly less due process to unlawful combatants than the general court-martial process will provide to their lawful combatant counterparts.

Journal Article.  4491 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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