The War on Terrorism and Specialized Courts

Chicago Lawyers Chapter and International & National Security Law Practice Group

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The legal framework for our counterterrorism efforts has consisted of a mix of the law of armed conflict and criminal law. It also consisted of a varying mix of executive action and legislative authorization.  This mix has been controversial.  And it may be inadequate, because the efforts must have two objectives.  The first is to prevent attacks, and the second is to prosecute terrorists in a manner that is both effective and just. Can these objectives be better achieved through comprehensive legislation and policy innovations, perhaps including the establishment of a specialized court with jurisdiction over (1) intelligence gathering, (2) preventive detention, (3) interrogation, and (4) trials?  A distinguished panel will address the Constitutional, legal, and policy issues raised by such suggestions.

**There were audio problems during the recording of this event, which we were unable to fix in post-production.  We apologize for the poor quality and for the inconvenience.**


  • Prof. Neal K. Katyal, Georgetown University Law Center and Counsel to Salim Ahmed Hamdan
  • Prof. Joseph Margulies, MacArthur Justice Center, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Mr. David B. Rivkin, Jr., Baker & Hostetler, LLP
  • Prof. Glenn M. Sulmasy, Professor of Law,  U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and National Security and Human Rights Fellow, Harvard University
  • Moderator: Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit