Journal Article

Following Historical Precedent

Richard V. Meyer

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 7, issue 1, pages 43-61
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Following Historical Precedent

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The military commissions at Guantánamo Bay have properly been the subject of much legal scrutiny and criticism. Their use of military officers as triers of fact, however, merits further consideration. Salim Hamdan may have benefited from having military officers decide his case. His panel was composed of highly educated military professionals who have dedicated their lives in service of the law. Despite their enmity towards the accused, these officers were actually in a better position to be sympathetic and understanding to the Hamdan defence than a civilian jury. The unique aspects of military service and combat experience will also make them excellent partners with professional jurists in future humanitarian law tribunals.

Journal Article.  8864 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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