Friday, October 21, 2016

Al Bahlul: the D.C. Circuit splits on conspiracy as a military commission offense

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit yesterday handed down its en banc decision in Al Bahlul v. United States. Lawfare has this explainer by Helen Klein Murillo and Alex Loomis, students at Harvard Law School. The decision can be found here.

Whether conspiracy can be tried by military commission even if it is not an offense under the Law of Nations is the core issue. It should be resolved by the Supreme Court.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spanish Constitutional Tribunal grants an appeal dealing with fundamental rights

Escudo de España (mazonado).svgThe Spanish Constitutional Tribunal admitted an appeal against the arrest imposed by the Spanish Supreme Court on the delegate, Jose Salazar Perez, of the Unified Association of Spanish Military (AUME) in Murcia.  Jose Salazar Perez was arrested for a serious offense (falta grave) committed after asserting in an email that the delegate for women's issues of the association for that province, Maria Teresa Franco Martinez, "was complicating her life because of her associative work and Jorge Bravo (President of AUME), who was awaiting arrest for a serious offense (falta grave) for declarations about superfluous expenditures."  The appeal, a writ of amparo, prepared by Mariano Casado, of the Legal Advisor's office of AUME was presented against the Ministry of Defense, which had imposed a punishment of arrest -- deprivation of liberty for one month and three days on Jose Salazar Perez.  AUME takes the position that the disciplinary resolutions and judgments of the Central Military Tribunal and of the Military Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court "violate the right of association, of freedom of expression and the principle of legality."  The Constitutional Tribunal granted the appeal because it agreed that the case raised transcendent constitutional issues that would permit it to clarify or change its doctrine as a consequence of the normative changes relevant to the content of fundamental rights.  AUME celebrated the Constitutional Tribunal's decision in so far as "the violation of fundamental rights is directly related to the fundamental rights of association, freedom of expression and with the principle of legality,"

United States v. Till (1945)

John Edgar Wideman
John Edgar Wideman has written "A Black and White Case" for Esquire. Available here, it's an account of -- in fact, a meditation on -- the interaction between the 1945 capital court-martial of Army Private Louis Till in Italy and the murder of his son Emmett Till a decade later in Mississippi.

2016 Military Investigation and Justice Experience Survey

The Department of Defense has announced its 2016 Military Investigation and Justice Experience Survey, according to this announcement.

Here's a startling fact: "The 2015 survey found that 77 percent of all respondents would recommend others in the military make a report if they are sexually assaulted." In other words, nearly a quarter of those who responded to last year's survey would not recommend filing a report if sexually assaulted.

Closing time in Verona?

Veneto Vox reports here on a parliamentary
controversy over whether to shut down the Verona Military Court. Opponents call the suggestion absurd and ideological and see the court as a symbol of military tradition in the region.