Fri, 28 October 2016
On Thursday, October 20th, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled once again on the case of Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, a Guantanamo detainee convicted by a military commission for inchoate conspiracy to commit war crimes. In a divided and inconclusive en banc decision, the D.C. Circuit affirmed Bahlul’s conviction, overturning the court’s decision vacating the conviction last June, in which a three-judge panel held that Bahlul could not be convicted of the domestic law offense of conspiracy as a war crime because Article III of the Constitution only permits military commission trials of offenses against the international laws of war. The Lawfare Podcast has covered the twists and turns of Bahlul’s case in the past, and now we’re back once more with Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law and Bob Loeb, a partner at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe and the former Acting Deputy Director of the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the Department of Justice.