1. United States v. Headley (N.D. Ill. Jan. 14, 2010)
A superseding indictment last week in the David Headley prosecution (relating to the Mumbai attack, among other things). From the press release:
A federal grand jury today returned a superseding indictment adding three defendants, including Tahawwur Rana, to charges filed last month against David Coleman Headley, alleging that they and others participated in conspiracies involving a planned terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper and the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, that killed approximately 164 people, including six Americans.
The 12-count superseding indictment contains the identical charges that were filed against Headley on Dec. 7, 2009, while adding Rana as a defendant in three of the counts charging material support of the terrorism plots in Denmark and India, as well as in support of the designated foreign terrorist organization Lashkar e Tayyiba. Also indicted were Ilyas Kashmiri, an allegedly influential terrorist organization leader in Pakistan who is alleged to be in regular contact with leaders of al Qaeda, and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman), a retired major in the Pakistani military, both of whom were charged in two conspiracy counts relating to the Denmark terrorism plot.
Both Rana and Abdur Rehman were charged separately in previous court filings, but today’s indictment charges Kashmiri for the first time, although he was identified by name in the charges filed previously against Rana, Abdur Rehman and Headley.
More details here.
2. United States v. Muse (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2010
A superseding indictment in the piracy prosecution involving the Maersk Alabama (and, now, earlier acts of piracy). Press release here: http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/January10/museabduwaliabdukhadirs1indictmentpr.pdf
3. More upcoming events
Great programs like this makes me jealous of those of you who live in DC! On the other hand, it is 74 and sunny in Austin at the moment…
January 25 – “Mind the Gap: International Human Rights Law and the Law of Armed Conflict”
The Catholic University of America’s Military and National Security Law Students Association and
The American Society of International Law
in cooperation with the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security
Monday, January 25, 2010
Tillar House – The American Society of International Law
2223 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Gabriella Blum, Harvard Law School professor and former head of the counter-terrorism desk in the international law department of the Israeli Defense Forces
Geoffrey Corn, South Texas College of Law professor, former senior law of war expert, Office of the Judge Advocate General, and professor of international and national security law at the Army JAG School.
Harvey Rishikof, professor of law and national security studies at the National Defense University, National War College in Washington, D.C.
Jamie A. Williamson, legal delegate, International Committee of the Red Cross, Regional Delegation for United States and Canada.
Professors Blum and Corn have both recently published provocative articles that stake out quite different positions over the legal uncertainties posed by the applicability of human rights standards to situations where the law of war is applied. To what extent are human rights standards applicable in armed conflicts and in how far is the jurisprudence of regional human rights courts pertinent? For example, does human rights law preclude combatants in war from killing each other’s soldiers, regardless of their role, function, or degree of threat? This is just one point on which the discussants are likely to disagree. It is a hot topic and will be a featured subject at several international and national law conferences in 2010. The question was also covered by lecturers at the Navy War College last May.
This event is free, but space is limited, and registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. To register, please email Patty Davila at Davila@law.edu. For further information about the event, please contact Tom Haederle at Haederle@law.edu. [ED. NOTE: THOSE ARE ACCURATE EMAIL EXTENSIONS…SEEMS THAT CUA WAS A QUICK MOVER IN THE REALM OF DOMAIN NAMES YEARS AGO!]
Tillar House is located on the Metro’s Red line. Exit at the Dupont Circle station, exit at the North (Q Street) exit. From the escalator, you will be facing the corner of Q Street and 20th Street. Connecticut Avenue will be behind you. Walking straight ahead, cross 20th Street and continue down Q Street to Massachusetts Avenue, about 2 blocks. Turn right on Mass Ave. and walk about 2 more blocks. The Society is located at 2223 Mass. Ave., just past the Greek Embassy, on Sheridan Circle. The house is at the intersection of R Street and Mass. Ave. where they meet at Sheridan Circle.
– January 27 – “Professional Military Education in the 21st Century – New Threats, New Institutions and New Missions for the Military and the Intelligence Communities” (Address by Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau, USN, President of National Defense University)
ABA Standing Committee on Law & National Security
Luncheon program with Vice Admiral Ann Rondeau – Army and Navy Club – 12-1:30 p.m. –(flyer and registration form here: Rondeau Announcement)
In collaboration with the Army and Navy Club, the Standing Committee on Law and National Security invite you to a special opportunity to hear Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau, USN, and President, National Defense University speak on “Professional Military Education in the 21st Century – New Threats, New Institutions and New Missions for the Military and the Intelligence Communities.”
This luncheon program will be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. with ample time for questions and discussion. The Army and Navy Club is located at 901 17th Street, NW, (on Farragut Square, one block from the Farragut North Metro) in Washington, DC.
Vice Admiral Rondeau was appointed President of NDU in 2009. NDU is the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education and is under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The charge for this luncheon is $25.00. Reservations must be made in advance. Checks made payable to “ABA” may be enclosed with the response form and returned by January 25. If you are bringing guests, please note their names on the form. In the event you need to cancel your reservation, a refund will be made provided notice of cancellation is received in our office by January 25. There is no charge for members of the press.
4. Forthcoming Scholarship
This article challenges the prevailing view that U.S. “exceptionalism” provides the strongest narrative for the U.S. rejection of Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The United States chose not to adopt the Protocol in the face of intensive international criticism because of its policy conclusions that the text contained overly expansive provisions resulting from politicized pressure to accord protection to terrorists who elected to conduct hostile military operations outside the established legal framework. The United States concluded that the commingling of the regime criminalizing terrorist acts with the jus in bello rules of humanitarian law would be untenable and inappropriate. In effect, the U.S. concluded that key provisions of Protocol I actually undermine the core values that spawned the entire corpus of humanitarian law. Whether or not the U.S. position was completely accurate, it was far more than rejectionist unilateralism because it provided the impetus for subsequent reservations by other NATO allies. More than two decades after the debates regarding Protocol I, the U.S. position provided the normative benchmark for the subsequent rejection of efforts by some states to shield terrorists from criminal accountability mechanisms required by multilateral terrorism treaties. This article demonstrates that the U.S. policy stance regarding Protocol I helped to prevent the commingling of the laws and customs of war in the context of the multilateral framework for responding to transnational terrorist acts in the aftermath of September 11. In hindsight, the “exceptional” U.S. position was emulated by other nations as they reacted to reservations designed to blur the distinctions between terrorists and privileged combatants. U.S. “exceptionalism” in actuality paved the way for sustained engagement that substantially shaped the international response to terrorist acts. This article suggests that reservations provide an important mechanism for states to engage in second-order dialogue over the true meaning and import of treaties, which in turn fosters the clarity and enforceability of the text.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
[Ed. Note: I don’t have an abstract for this one, but if you are following the policy debate on deradicalization efforts then you’ll want to check this out]
Stephanie Cooper Blum
Homeland Security Affairs January 2010
Former Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff have each published historical retrospectives on homeland security and their experiences leading the government’s newest department. In this review, Ms. Blum discusses the highlights of each book and provides a comparative analysis. While Ridge focuses on the politics of homeland security, his own internal struggles, and the state and local perspective, Chertoff focuses on placing Islamic terrorism in its proper historical context and the capabilities of the federal government to solve homeland security problems.
Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 22, pp. 191-209, 2009
Despite not being an entirely new debate in international law and international relations, the nexus between human rights and non-state actors has become a highly relevant topic of scholarly research, as witnessed by three works published in 2005 and 2006 (P. Alston, Non-State Actors and Human Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), A. Clapham, Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) and O. De Schutter, Transnational Corporations and Human Rights (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2006)), which are the subject of this article. The discussed books share the common feature of examining the supposed weakening of the existing classical state-centric approach in international (human rights) law, therefore moving away from the traditional view that under human rights law, the individuals hold the rights, while only states bear the obligations.
This paper centres on the discussion on the descriptive and normative dimensions of the debate, and starts with a synopsis of the rationale behind these works, and the invoked factual necessity to consider changing the normative framework (1). Secondly, the paper analyses the question of subjects in international law, the role of non-state actors in the current international legal framework, and the normative challenges to this system (2). The second part also includes elements on the reasons why existing international law is seen to be unable to grasp these evolutions. The contents of the human rights obligations of non-governmental organisations, international organisations and transnational corporations will also be included in the second part.
The degrading security situation in the Kivus has become a major international concern for peace and stability. This article examines the possibilities for decisive action to curb the cycle of violence costing lives of 45,000 people and driving into exile other hundreds of thousands per month. It explores legal bases and circumstantial arguments for stronger UN engagement into the Kivus to pacify the last pocket violence stopping peacebuilding efforts of the international community in the DRC.