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News Posted on August 2, 2010

Professor Amann Comments on Terrorism Tribunals for The Economist

Professor Diane Marie Amann commented for The Economist on legal questions surrounding the use of military tribunals to try terrorism suspects.  The Economist article, which examines issues related to the planned closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention center, discusses Professor Amann's observation of proceedings that took place in December 2008 at Guantánamo.

At that time, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other defendants sought to confess to charges in connection with the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Proceedings halted because of confusion over whether military commissions laws permit prosecutors to apply the death penalty in cases in which a suspect pleads guilty.  The question remains unanswered.

"This, Ms. Amann says, is an example of the lack of clarity that hounds the tribunals: with no case law to go by, the legal questions are stacking up, and the controversies that have surrounded the tribunals since their inception put their legitimacy in question," The Economist article states.

Diane Marie Amann is Professor of Law, Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar, and Director of the California International Law Center at King Hall, UC Davis School of Law.  She has published widely on law and national security.

The Economist article