military tribunal

A military tribunal is a kind of military court designed to try members of enemy forces during wartime, operating outside the scope of conventional criminal and civil matters. The judges are military officers and fulfill the role of jurors. It is distinct from the court martial.

A military tribunal is an inquisitorial system based on charges brought by a military authority, prosecuted by a military authority, judged by military officers, and sentenced by military officers against a member of an adversarial force. |
Enlarge picture
The Nuremberg Trials is one of the best known military tribunals.

Military tribunals in the United States

The United States has, infrequently, made use of military tribunals or commissions, rather than rely on a court martial, within the military justice system. General George Washington used military tribunals during the American Revolution.

President Abraham Lincoln used military tribunals during the American Civil War. Their use in cases of civilians was often controversial, and critics of the administration charged that tribunals had become a political weapon, for which the accused had no legal recourse, except through an appeal to the President. The most prominent civilians tried in this way were Democratic politicians Clement L. Vallandigham, Lambdin P. Milligan, and Benjamin Gwynn Harris. All were convicted, and Harris was expelled from the Congress as a result. The so-called Lincoln conspirators were also tried by military commission in the spring and summer of 1865.[1]

Military tribunals were used to try Native Americans who fought the United States during the Indian Wars; the thirty-eight people who were executed after the Dakota War of 1862 were sentenced by a military tribunal.

The U. S. Supreme Court took up the Milligan case in 1866, and in a unanimous opinion, ruled that civilians could not be tried by military commissions in any jurisdiction where the civil courts were functioning.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered military tribunals for eight German prisoners accused of planning sabotage in the United States as part of Operation Pastorius. Roosevelt's decision was challenged, but upheld, in Ex parte Quirin. All eight of the accused were convicted and sentenced to death. Six were executed by electric chair at the District of Columbia jail on August 8, 1942. Two who had given evidence against the others had their sentences reduced by Roosevelt to prison terms. In 1948, they were released and deported to the American Zone of occupied Germany.

International war crimes tribunals were convened by allied forces in both Germany and Japan to try military leaders for war crimes in those cases.

Most recently, as discussed below, the administration of George W. Bush has sought to use military tribunals to try terrorism suspects, mostly individuals captured abroad and held at a prison camp at a military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Jurisdiction

Courts-martial generally take jurisdiction only over members of their own military and sometimes, civilians present with them. Even when court-martial procedures are used to try enemies, the body convened is often instead called a military tribunal or military commission.

A military tribunal or military commission, in contrast, is generally used to refer to bodies who assert jurisdiction over persons who are held in military custody and stand accused of being enemies in a conflict in which the military is engaged who a combatants who have violated a law of war.

Military tribunals convened to impose punishment (as opposed to tribunals established solely to classify persons in military custody as combatants or non-combatants), generally limit themselves to accusations that an individual violated the laws of war. Military tribunals generally do not consider cases where an individual is merely being accused of being a combatant on behalf of the enemy.

Military tribunals also, generally speaking, do not assert jurisdiction over people who are acknowledged to be non-combatants who have committed ordinary civil crimes. But, military tribunals are sometimes used to try individuals not affiliated with a national military who are nonetheless accused of being combatants acting in volation of the laws of war.

Controversy

While tribunals can provide for quick trials under the conditions of war, many critics say this occurs at the expense of fair justice.

For military tribunals the rules for admissible evidence are more lax than in civilian trials; hearsay and coerced testimony, if it would have “probative value to a reasonable person,” and evidence kept secret from the defendant and his lawyer (if any) can be used to convict defendants.[2]

Time constraints and the inability to obtain evidence can greatly hamper a case for the defense. Civilian trials must be open to the public, while military tribunals can be held in secret. Because conviction usually relies on some sort of majority quota, the separability problem can easily cause the verdict to be displeasing not only to the defendant but also to the tribunal.

Decisions made by a military tribunal cannot be appealed to federal courts. The only way to appeal is a petition for a panel of review (which may or may not include civilians as well as military officers) to review decisions, however the President, as Commander In Chief, has final review of all appeals. No impartial arbiter is available.

Although such tribunals do not satisfy most protections and guarantees provided by the Bill of Rights, that has not stopped Presidents from using them, nor the U.S. Congress from authorizing them, as in the Military Commissions Act of 2006. All U.S. Presidents have contended that the Bill of Rights does not apply to noncitizen combatants.

Trial by military commission of the Guantánamo detainees

President George W. Bush has ordered that certain detainees imprisoned at the Naval base on Guantánamo Bay were to be tried by military commissions. This decision sparked controversy and litigation. On June 29, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the power of the Bush administration to conduct military tribunals to suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay.

In December of 2006, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was passed and authorized the establishment of military commissions subject to certain requirements and with a designated system of appealing those decisions. A military commission system addressing objections identified by the U.S. Supreme Court was then established by the Department of Defense. Litigation concerning the establishment of this system is ongoing.[3][4] As of June 13, 2007, the appellate body in this military commission system had not yet been constituted.

Three cases had been commenced in the new system, as of June 13, 2007. One detainee, David Matthew Hicks plea bargained and was sent to Australia to serve a nine month sentence.[5] Two case were dismissed without prejudice because the tribunal believed that the men charged had not been properly determined to be persons within the commission's jurisdiction on June 4, 2007, and the military prosecutors asked the commission to reconsider that decision on June 8, 2007. [6] One of the dismissed cases involved Omar Ahmed Khadr, who was captured at age 15 in Afghanistan after having killed a U.S. soldier with a grenade. The other dismissed case involved Salim Ahmed Hamdan who is alleged to have been Osama bin Laden's driver and is the lead plaintiff in a key series of cases challenging the military commission system. The system is in limbo until the jurisdictional issues addressed in the early cases are resolved.

See also

References

1. ^ For general history of Civil War commissions, see Neely, M. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (1991) ISBN 0-19-506496-8 and Klement, F. Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War (1984) ISBN 0-8071-1174-0. For extensive discussion of the Lincoln conspiracy trial, see Kauffman, M. American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies (2004) ISBN 0-375-50785-X
2. ^ "Why Am I in Cuba?", Mother Jones, July 12 2006
3. ^ [1]br> 4. ^ [2]]
5. ^ [3]
6. ^ [4]

External links

Criminal law
Part of the common law series
Elements of crimes
Actus reus  · Causation  · Concurrence
Mens rea  · Intention (general)
Intention in English law  · Recklessness
..... Click the link for more information.
Private law is that part of a legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems.
..... Click the link for more information.
worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.


A Military jury (or "Members", in military parlance) serves a function similar to a civilian jury, but with several notable differences.
..... Click the link for more information.
court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court or legal body who are convened to determine the guilt or innocence of military men and women accused of violating the code of military justice.
..... Click the link for more information.
inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in determining the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is solely that of an impartial referee between parties.
..... Click the link for more information.
Military has two broad meanings. In its first sense, it refers to soldiers and soldiering. In its second sense, it refers to armed forces as a whole. Over the years, military units have come in all shapes and sizes.
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
..... Click the link for more information.
court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court or legal body who are convened to determine the guilt or innocence of military men and women accused of violating the code of military justice.
..... Click the link for more information.
George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1][2] was a central, critical figure in the founding of the United States of America, as well as the nation's first president (1789–1797).
..... Click the link for more information.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his death on April 15, 1865. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery, he won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was
..... Click the link for more information.
American Civil War (1861–1865) was a major war between the United States (the "Union") and eleven Southern slave states which declared that they had a right to secession and formed the Confederate States of America, led by President Jefferson Davis.
..... Click the link for more information.
Clement Laird Vallandigham (velan´digham, -gam) (July 29 1820 – June 17 1871) was an Ohio unionist of the Copperhead faction of anti-war, pro-Confederate Democrats during the American Civil War.

He was born in New Lisbon, Ohio (now Lisbon, Ohio).
..... Click the link for more information.
Lambdin Purdy Milligan (March 24 1812 – December 21 1899) was a lawyer, farmer, and a leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle.

Milligan lived in Huntington, near Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
..... Click the link for more information.
American Indian and Alaska Native
One race: 2.5 million[1]
In combination with one or more other races: 1.6 million[2]
Regions with significant populations  United States

..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
..... Click the link for more information.
Indian Wars is the name generally used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between the colonial and federal government and the indigenous peoples. Although the earliest English settlers in what would become the United States often enjoyed peaceful relations with
..... Click the link for more information.
Dakota War of 1862 was an armed conflict between the United States and several eastern bands of the Dakota people (also called the Santee Sioux) which began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota.
..... Click the link for more information.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was the thirty-second President of the United States. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, and is the only U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now. A how-to guide is available, as is general .
This article has been tagged since August 2007.
..... Click the link for more information.
Operation Pastorius was a failed plan for a series of attacks by Nazi German agents inside the United States. The operation was staged in June 1942 and was to be directed against strategic U.S. economic targets.
..... Click the link for more information.
Ex parte Quirin
Supreme Court of the United States
Argued July 29 – 30, 1942
Decided July 31, 1942

Full case name: Ex parte Richard Quirin; Ex parte Herbert Hans Haupt; Ex parte Edward John Kerling; Ex parte Ernest Peter Burger;
..... Click the link for more information.
Electric-chair is sometimes used in publications by organizations of people with disabilities to mean "electric-powered wheelchair".
The electric chair
..... Click the link for more information.
Washington, D.C.

Flag
Seal
Nickname: DC, The District
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All)
Location of Washington, D.C.
..... Click the link for more information.
August 8 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 1220 - Sweden was defeated by Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1910s  1920s  1930s  - 1940s -  1950s  1960s  1970s
1939 1940 1941 - 1942 - 1943 1944 1945

Year 1942 (MCMXLII
..... Click the link for more information.
George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. Bush was first elected in the 2000 presidential election, and reelected for a second term in the 2004 presidential election.
..... Click the link for more information.
Guantanamo Bay may refer to:
  • Guantánamo Bay, a bay located in Guantánamo Province at the south-eastern end of Cuba.
  • Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, the United States Naval base located there
  • Guantanamo Bay detention camp, the detainment camp on that base.

..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
Patria y Libertad   (Spanish)
"Patriotism and Liberty" a

Anthem
La Bayamesa  
..... Click the link for more information.
court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court or legal body who are convened to determine the guilt or innocence of military men and women accused of violating the code of military justice.
..... Click the link for more information.
Hearsay may refer to:
  • Hearsay in English law and Hearsay in United States law, a legal principle concerning the admission of evidence through repetition of out-of-court statements
  • Hear'Say, a British pop group

..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.