The Role of the Courts in Time of War

71 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 169 (2014)

18 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2015

See all articles by William Banks

William Banks

Syracuse University College of Law - Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs

Date Written: October 30, 2014

Abstract

The role of the courts in judging the actions of government in wartime has ranged from extreme deference to careful probing of alleged government excesses over more than two centuries. The courts’ record has reflected the nature of the armed conflicts the United States has engaged in and the legal bases for the actions at issue. In the aggregate, the courts have served as a necessary counterweight to government overreaching in times of national security crisis. It is easy to underestimate the institutional problems confronting judges who are asked to make momentous decisions in times of national crisis — difficulties of fact-finding and assessing the risks of being wrong, among others. Yet no other part of government is as equipped as the judiciary to anchor the nation to its core values during a storm.

Keywords: Laws of War, humanitarian law, peace studies, war studies, US judicial branch, war powers

Suggested Citation

Banks, William, The Role of the Courts in Time of War (October 30, 2014). 71 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 169 (2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2558161

William Banks (Contact Author)

Syracuse University College of Law - Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States

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