In the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the capture of hundreds of suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, we have been engaged in a national debate as to the proper standards and procedures for detaining “enemy combatants” and prosecuting them for war crimes. Dissatisfaction with the procedures established at Guantanamo for detention decisions and trials of detainees for war crimes by military commissions, and concerns about the feasibility of conducting major terrorism trials in regular Article III courts, have led to proposals to establish a special National Security Court.
This new court, which would have greater flexibility to conduct non-public proceedings than do the regular federal courts, could make or review status and detention decisions and/or conduct trials of suspected terrorists. The conference will discuss the pros and cons of establishing such a new federal court, and what jurisdiction should be assigned to such a court.
Former Chief Judge
Partner in the international and national security law practices at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C.
Former Brookings Expert
Director, Center for Law & Counterterrorism
private criminal defense lawyer who has represented a number of terrorist suspects, including Jose Padilla
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