The trial of terrorism

National security courts and beyond

Authored by: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin , Oren Gross

Routledge Handbook of Law and Terrorism

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415870375
eBook ISBN: 9780203795835
Adobe ISBN: 9781134455096


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The military commissions scheme established by President George W Bush on 13 November 2001, has garnered considerable national and international controversy. 1 Its creation focused significant global attention on the use of military courts as a mechanism to process and try individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist acts or offences committed during armed conflict. However, states have long manipulated the legal process and the courts as means to manage and address exceptional threats and challenges. 2 Exceptional courts are found in numerous settings, and have long pedigrees of operation in multiple parts of the world as well as in the international sphere. 3 In this chapter we introduce and discuss the multiplicity of phenomena that emerge in the context of the use of exceptional courts to try suspected terrorists and which we broadly umbrella under the notion of ‘due process exceptionalism’. 4

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