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Guantánamo and Beyond
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Book description

The Military Commissions scheme established by President George W. Bush in November 2001 has garnered considerable controversy. In parallel with the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the creation of military courts has focused significant global attention on the use of such courts to process and try persons suspected of committing terrorist acts or offenses during armed conflict. This book brings together the viewpoints of leading scholars and policy makers on the topic of exceptional courts and military commissions with a series of unique contributions setting out the current 'state of the field'. The book assesses the relationship between such courts and other intersecting and overlapping legal arenas including constitutional law, international law, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law. By examining the comparative patterns, similarities and disjunctions arising from the use of such courts, this book also analyzes the political and legal challenges that the creation and operation of exceptional courts produces both within democratic states and for the international community.


'Comprehensive, thorough, and thought-provoking, Guantánamo and Beyond's stellar collection of essays should be required reading for scholars, experts, and policy makers seeking to understand today's military commissions in their legal, historical and comparative international contexts. A truly welcome addition to the literature on the law after 9/11.'

Karen Greenberg - Director, Center on National Security, Fordham University

'I cannot think of a better introduction to the complexities attached to the use of 'military commissions', as part of the response to unconventional warfare or terrorism, in lieu of ordinary courts or courts martial. A host of experts have contributed chapters that are both accessible to all readers and genuinely illuminating (even, I suspect, for fellow experts), detailing both the history of military commissions and issues surrounding their present use both in the United States and abroad.'

Sanford Levinson - W. St John Garwood and W. St John Garwood, Jr, Centennial Chair and Professor of Government, University of Texas Law School

‘The Guantánamo military commissions to try terror suspects are among the most controversial practices in the US ‘war on terror’ … This welcome book assembles essays by renowned experts who explore all the facets of military commissions - at Guantánamo and elsewhere. They look hard at Guantánamo, but also at past special courts both in and out of the United States, from the military tribunals for American Indians in the nineteenth century, to special courts in Ireland, Canada, and Israel, to today’s international criminal tribunals. Readers trying to understand what the Guantánamo commissions are about, but who are put off by advocacy rhetoric and incomprehensible legalisms, now have a comprehensive source that sheds welcome light on the remarkable turn of democratic governments to special courts in times of crisis. I warmly recommend this book.’

David Luban - University Professor in Law and Philosophy, Georgetown University

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