Foreign Relations Law

Salim Hamdan has been sentenced to 66 months in prison, far short of the 30 years-to-life sentence the prosecution requested.  Good news for Hamdan? Probably not, as Colonel Morris Davis -- the third chief prosecutor of the military commissions, who resigned because of political interference by the Pentagon -- pointed out in the comments to my ex post facto post: The...

The sole virtue of being the last among bloggers to weigh in on yesterday’s Hamdan verdict is having a chance to read what everyone else is saying. The New York Times, the ACLU, Human Rights First and others are pretty scathing in their criticism: don’t be fooled by the patina of fairness evinced by the split verdict, this system...

Well, the Hamdan verdict is in: guilty on five counts of material support to a terrorist organization, but significantly for cases to come - not guilty on the far broader charge of conspiracy. The Times’ story is here. Sentencing to follow this afternoon. This is hardly the end of the story. There will certainly be appeals. But...

My apologies for implying that Ben is a neoconservative, but I think that the title of my last post -- "Damning International Tribunals With Faint Praise" -- is accurate. Stray or not, Ben's comment praises the international tribunals for (ostensibly) not offering defendants the same kinds of protections that defendants enjoy in U.S. civilian courts.  The belief that the Rome...

I had planned to lurk on the sidelines until the discussion of Ben's fascinating book moved to the "need" for a new interrogation statute -- I, for one, am more than happy to have "interrogation laws that operate only at the highest altitude (nothing cruel or inhumane, nothing that causes severe pain or suffering) but never come down to earth,"...

Peter makes two points, one with which I largely agree, the other with which I disagree. Agreement first: I have no doubt that the structures we create to fight terrorism have to be reconcilable not only with the American constitutional tradition but with international law as well. While I am skeptical that a meeting of the minds between American and European...

I will join the chorus of praise for this terrific book. But I want to add briefly to Peter’s critique of Ben’s premise that the current threat from transnational terrorism has us in a “long war,” by looking at what this means for broader foreign policy – one that encompasses, but it is not driven by, domestic legal policy. The book correctly,...

This is a great book and there's a lot to chew on here.  By way of taking up Ben's opening volley, I have two general thoughts:  1) things may need some fixing, but not necessarily at the foundational level framed in the book, and 2) to the extent things do need fixing, international law has to be in the picture. The first point...

No, that's not a snarky question. He has consistently made comments that seem to indicate far more openness to the Court than the typical Republican.  In 2002, he voted against the appalling American Service-Members Protection Act (aka "The Hague Invasion Act").  In 2005, he said “I want us in the ICC, but I’m not satisfied that there are enough safeguards.”...

I just wanted to remind everyone that next week we will host a discussion of Benjamin Wittes' book Law And the Long War. Besides Ben, Bobby Chesney (Wake Forest),  Geoff Corn (South Texas), Glenn Sulmasy (U.S. Coast Guard Academy), Steve Vladeck (American University), Marty Lederman (Georgetown) and possibly one or two others will be joining us for the book symposium. ...