Legal Commentary - Joanne Mariner Archive

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PROSECUTING AL QAEDA:
WHEN IS A MEMBER A CONSPIRATOR?

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses the future prosecutions of alleged Al Qaeda members detained at Guantanamo Bay. Mariner focuses on the fundamental question of whether the detainees can be criminally prosecuted for simple membership in Al Qaeda, or whether more must be shown -- and explains how similar questions were previously resolved at Nuremberg, with regard to SS officers, and in the United States, with respect to Communist Party members.
Monday, Apr. 29, 2002

VENEZUELA'S EMBATTLED DEMOCRACY
In the midst of an incredibly tumultuous period for Venezuela, FindLaw columnist and human rights advocate Joanne Mariner explains the crisis and its roots. She discusses why Latin American leaders are ready to use legal sanctions to protect Venezuela's constitutional processes, and suggests how structural reform of democratic institutions in Latin America might help to prevent similar crises in the future.
Monday, Apr. 15, 2002

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, SOVEREIGNTY, AND CITIZENSHIP:
LESSONS FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

FindLaw columnist and human rights advocate Joanne Mariner explains the politics of the Dominican Republic's heated debate over illegal immigration to the Dominican Republic by Haitians, and draws comparisons to similar U.S. debates. Mariner discusses recent developments and their influence upon the debate, and explains a key conflict regarding the interpretation of the Dominican Constitution.
Monday, Apr. 01, 2002

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO -- AND KOSOVO?

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses the content and context of the agreement recently signed in Belgrade by the leaders of Serbia and Montenegro, Yugoslavia's two remaining constituent republics. The agreement, as Mariner explains, charts out a landmark legal reform of their relationship and signals the official end of the state of Yugoslavia.
Monday, Mar. 18, 2002

GUANTANAMERA:
THE CONTINUING DEBATE OVER THE LEGAL STATUS OF GUANTANAMO DETAINEES

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner clarifies the issues in the debate that persists over how Guantanamo detainees should be treated. Mariner explains the clash over what article of the Geneva Conventions applies to Taliban prisoners; sets forth the procedures that should be followed when POW status is in doubt; and notes the trend towards seeking to discard the Conventions entirely when terrorism is at issue.
Monday, Mar. 11, 2002

MILOSEVIC, NATO AND THE SERBS:
WHOSE TRIAL, WHOSE CRIMES?

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses Slobodan Milosevic's defense in his ongoing war crimes trial at The Hague. Mariner assesses both the political and legal relevance of Milosevic's strategy, and what might be expected in future proceedings.
Monday, Feb. 18, 2002

TORTURE:
DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses the conviction of former French General Paul Aussaresses for "justifying war crimes" committed during France's colonial war in Algeria. Mariner contends that even though Aussaresses himself has conceded that he participated in the crimes at issue, his conviction is not quite the human rights victory it may seem, for it is based not on what the former general did, but on what he said. The conviction thus not only conflicts with free speech principles, it also hinders efforts to find out the truth about the Algerian war.
Monday, Feb. 04, 2002

OUR MANY AND VARIED WARS AGAINST TERROR
In Part Two of a two-part series, FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses the difficulty in reaching an international consensus on the definition of terrorism. Mariner surveys different nations' widely divergent views on what qualifies as terrorism, notes historical examples of actions that could be called terrorist but are thought by many to be justified, and chronicles the U.N.'s attempts to address terrrorism over the years.
Monday, Jan. 21, 2002

GOOD AND BAD TERRORISM?
In Part One of a two-part series on terrorism, FindLaw columnist and human rights advocate Joanne Mariner discusses the provocative question of whether there can be such a thing as good terrorism -- going well beyond the cliche that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Among other points, Mariner contends that while there is a strong international consensus that terrorism is bad, the consensus is ultimately a trivial one, for it masks deep disagreements as to what terrorism is in the first place, and who should be properly labeled a terrorist.
Monday, Jan. 07, 2002

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