Friday, September 19, 2008

Conference: Looking Past Guantanamo: Are New Concepts Needed for Terrorist-Related Detentions?

Today, at American University's Washington College of Law, there will be a conference on "Looking Past Guantanamo: Are New Concepts Needed for Terrorist-Related Detentions?" The program is available here. Why attend?
Cosponsored by Washington College of Law, the National Institute of Military Justice and the Federalist Society, and in cooperation with the ABA Section of International Law National Security Committee. The next conversation in global counter-terrorism will consider the long-term future of terrorist-related detentions. The resolution of this conversation will depend on chosen model to govern the detention. Many lawyers have argued that the United States and its allies are at war with terrorists under the laws of armed conflict. Yet others counter that terrorism is fundamentally a domestic criminal offense and should be prosecuted under the law enforcement paradigm. While substantial efforts have been made to resolve these and related disagreements by making procedural alterations in the military commissions or the proposed National Security Court, many critics argue that these modifications are unable to overcome the very same conceptual challenges that justify the changes. After more than six years of discussion, this issue remains unresolved within the legal community. This conference advances that conversation by asking whether the law enforcement and international humanitarian law models are able to theoretically address the unique characteristics of international terrorism or whether new concepts are needed.