Street Law Launches "The Response" Educational Package

Legal education leader Street Law has created a package that includes a DVD of the film and classroom materials for teaching about national security law.




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Congress legitimized these
tribunals when they passed the
Miltary Commissions Act. The law
could not be more clear. The courts
have no jurisdiction in this.

Combatant Status Revew Tribunals (CSRT)

The Combatant Status Review Tribunals (also known as CSRTs) were established on July 7, 2004 (less than two weeks following the Supreme Court’s decisions in Rasul and Hamdi) by order of the U.S. Department of Defense. The first Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) hearings began later that month. These were not judicial hearings, but administrative panels to determine solely if each detainee had been properly classified as an (unlawful) enemy combatant. Within six months, over 550 Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) were held.

These non-public hearings were conducted by three military officers who served as the tribunal. They would review the non-classified material with a detainee. Under the rules of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT), the detainee was not permitted to see the classified evidence against him. Nor was he permitted to question (cross-examine) the witness(es) against him. Nor was he allowed to have an attorney (whether civilian or military). The U.S. government reasoned that the classified information was important and should not fall into enemy hands [ergo a key element of finding the right balance between national security and international standards of individual rights]. At the conclusion of the administrative hearing with the detainee, the three military officers / tribunal members would deliberate on the hearing. During this deliberation, they would have an opportunity to review portions of the classified material against the detainee.


Quick General Reference on Combatant Status Revew Tribunals (CSRT)

Wikipedia article on "Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT)"

Primary Sources on Combatant Status Revew Tribunals (CSRT)

U.S. Department of Defense web page for Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT)

U.S. Department of Defense: "Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) and Administrative Review Board (ARB) Documents"

"Order Establishing Combatant Status Review Tribunal" by Paul Wolfowitz

Specific References on Combatant Status Revew Tribunals (CSRT)

Obama Planning to Keep Tribunals for Detainees

UCDavis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas

Army Officer Says Gitmo Panels Flawed

Officer criticizes military tribunals: Affidavit cites problems at Guantanamo Bay

"Human Rights First Analyzes DOD's Combatant Status Review Tribunals"

Combatant Status Revew Tribunals: Further Reading

Verbatim Transcript for Combatant Status Revew Tribunal Hearing for ISN 10013 is an example of an actual CSRT hearing transcript.


For Law Schools, Colleges, and High Schools:

Educational Support Materials for the "The Response" and a DVD of the film are available from the Street Law organization: online or by calling 301-589-1130 ext. 220.