Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pentagon Announces New Rules for Military Commissions

The Pentagon released new rules today governing procedures in military commission trials (the USA Today account is here and the WSJ account is here). Note that these rules will not directly affect the consideration of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (the case I discussed here involving Osama Bin Laden's driver) because the petitioner there is challenging the legality of the military commissions themselves under constitutional and international law, and not the individual procedures in those commissions.

I don't have time to analyze the rules in full, but I doubt it will have any effect on the litigation challenging the process since attorneys for the petitioners will no doubt challenge any rules that are promulagated. If the Supreme Court eventually reaches the question of whether the procedures are fair, thought, I suppose these changes might help the commission survive that eventual review.

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