This short essay is based on remarks made on 21 September 2016 at the Asia Pacific Military Justice Workshop held at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. The author discusses his perceptions as a designated observer for the National Institute of Military Justice at the military commissions held at the u.s. Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was sent to monitor oral argument of one of the most significant pre-trial motions in the commission trying Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the uss Cole bombing. Al-Nashiri alleged unlawful influence by the civilian Convening Authority of the commission and moved to dismiss his prosecution with prejudice. The author examines the origins, argument, and resolution of this motion in the larger context of the commissions themselves, concluding that Guantánamo exemplifies the danger that u.s. State Department Legal Advisor William Taft perceived in “the temptations to cut corners.”
This article is based on a keynote address given at the 10th Annual Conference on the Development of Russian Law held at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, on 20–21 November 2017, by Professor Marianna Muravyeva. The article, which reflects political developments at the time of its delivery, explores the origins and consequences of the decision to accept Russia’s application for membership in the Council of Europe.
After a long delay in drafting, a new Criminal Procedure Code for Russia was passed in 2001 and went into effect in 2002. The new Code contains some striking innovations, most notably changes at the trial stage, which implement the constitutional requirement of adversarial principles. However, it also preserves several remnants of the past, particularly its preservation of the formal pretrial investigation, during which evidence is analyzed and compiled in a dossier, which then dominates the trial of the case. The result is that old and new constantly contend with each other. Implementation of the new adversarial procedures is also made difficult by the enormity of the changes demanded by them. This article examines these and other issues in the new Code's implementation over its first five years of operation.