Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Kevin_Kennedy, Dec 1, 2009.
The case against military tribunals -- latimes.com
War criminals have traditionally been tried out of the established legal system, see Nuremberg.
Al Qaeda declared, officially, war on the US, and attacked the US.
Military tribunals work for me.
To be correct, the concept of War Crimes is rather new to International Law.
Before the Hague Convention and later the Genevea Convention, it was neither regulated or an existing concept.
Also, as wars before 1945 ended conditionally, any war crime was persecuted according to the rules and regulations of each participating army. The ones held as prisoners of war were, if accused of war crimes, persecuted by the army who held them in captivity.
So the Nuremberg Tribunal was installed which was a precedence in International Law, as it had no foundation in existing regulations. But, as Germany´s armed forces surrendered unconditionally, the political power went over to the Allies.
The Trials held there were therefore in accordance with International Law.
Today there is the International Criminal Court, direct responsible for War Crimes.
But this court can excercise jurisdiction only in cases, when states are involved and acts as a complement to the national courts.
In case of Al Qaeda there are now two very important questions:
- does Al Quaeda qualify as a belligerent
- what consquences does this have
If Al Quaeda is recognized a belligerent, than it´s fighters have, if captured, the status of POWs as well. This then has the consequence, that any crime they have committed can be persecuted by Military Tribunals.
So far the US holds numerous individuals in captivity as "unlawful combatants" which therefore do not fall under the Geneva Convention. So what does that say about the status of War ? Is there one ? Then there must be some POWs at least.
If the US are at war, the other side is a belligerent. If not, the status of the ones held in captivity is rather insecure.
As I see it, bringing the ones accused of 09/11 in NY to court is sound, as the crime was done there.
In case of the USS Cole, either the government of Jemen or the US Military are the ones who should make the process, as it happened on a Military Installation.
Except, as the Judge points out, no war has been declared by the U.S.
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