The Military Commissions scheme established by President George W. Bush in November 2001 has garnered considerable controversy. In parallel with the detention facilities at Guantanamo 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.
Fionnuala Ni Aolain is concurrently the Dorsey and Whitney Chair in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School and Professor of Law at the University of Ulster's Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Professor Ni Aolain is the recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, including a Fulbright scholarship, the Alon Prize, the Robert Schumann Scholarship, a European Commission award, and the Lawlor fellowship. She has published extensively in the fields of emergency powers, conflict regulation, transitional justice, and sex-based violence in times of war. Her book Law in Times of Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2006, with Oren Gross) was awarded the American Society of International Law's pre-eminent prize in 2007 - the Certificate of Merit for Pre-eminent Contribution to Creative Scholarship. She is also the author of On the Frontlines: Gender, War, and the Post-Conflict Process (2011). She was appointed to the Executive Council of the American Society of International law in 2010 for a three-year term. She is Chair of the Board for the International Women's Program OSI. Oren Gross is the Irving Younger Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for International Legal and Security Studies at the University of Minnesota Law School. Professor Gross has received numerous academic awards and scholarships, including a Fulbright scholarship and British Academy and British Council awards. Between 1986 and 1991, Professor Gross served as a senior legal advisory officer in the international law branch of the Israeli Defense Forces' Judge Advocate General's Corps. Professor Gross's work has been published extensively, and his articles have appeared in leading academic journals such as the Yale Law Journal, the Yale Journal of International Law, the Michigan Journal of International Law, the Minnesota Law Review, and the Cardozo Law Review. His book Law in Times of Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2006, with Fionnuala Ni Aolain) was awarded the American Society of International Law's pre-eminent prize in 2007 - the Certificate of Merit for Pre-eminent Contribution to Creative Scholarship. In 2008 he was elected as a member of the American Law Institute.