Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1408135
 
 

Footnotes (36)



 


 



The United States, Israel, and Unlawful Combatants


Curtis A. Bradley


Duke University - School of Law

May 21, 2009

Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Paper No. 249

Abstract:     
This essay considers how members of a terrorist organization should be categorized under international law when the organization is engaged in an armed conflict with a nation. The proper categorization can have significant implications for the nation’s authority under both international and domestic law to subject members of a terrorist organization to military targeting and detention. As a result of judicial decisions, Israel ostensibly follows a two category approach, pursuant to which anyone who is not a lawful combatant, including a member of a terrorist organization, is a civilian. The United States, by contrast, currently follows a three category approach, whereby members of a terrorist organization can be considered “unlawful combatants” and thus treated as legally distinct from civilians. Although the two category approach may seem at first glance to be the most protective for civil liberties, it is not clear that this is the case. If a conflict with a terrorist organization is pushed into the civilian category, it is very likely that this category will be stretched in order to accommodate the security needs of the nation. The net result may be a reduction in protection for true non-combatants. While the three category approach is less anchored in existing treaties than the two category approach, it allows for a more realistic description of how members of a terrorist organization operate. Moreover, depending on how it is defined, the third category could contain significant substantive and procedural protections that are similar to those available under the two category approach.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: terrorism, unlawful combatants, geneva conventions, detention, targeting

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: May 21, 2009 ; Last revised: August 10, 2009

Suggested Citation

Bradley, Curtis A., The United States, Israel, and Unlawful Combatants (May 21, 2009). Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Paper No. 249. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1408135 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1408135

Contact Information

Curtis A. Bradley (Contact Author)
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,273
Downloads: 301
Download Rank: 57,721
Footnotes:  36

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.657 seconds