JD:Week 10:Discussion 1

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  • Web Video:Kirk, M. (Writer & Director). (2005, October 18). The torture question [Television series episode]. In M. Kirk & J. Gilmore (Producers), Frontline. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/torture/

    • Chapter 2, "The Afghanistan War Prisoners"
    • Chapter 6, "Abu Ghraib – And Beyond" 


Discussion 1 - Week 10COLLAPSETerrorism and the Law
International laws are a group of agreements, or treaties, between nation-states, based on a specific set of values and standards. They may address many different issues, including foreign affairs and trade, criminal conduct, and terrorism. In some cases, international laws are ambiguous at best, and require a great deal of interpretation to decipher intents and meanings. This is true of laws outlined in the Fourth Geneva Convention, one treaty you read about this week. Among other things, the laws in the Fourth Geneva Convention address procedures for administrative detainment of individuals. The laws do not contain specific language that bans countries from infringing on the personal liberties of detainees for the sake of national security. As a result, some nation-states, including the U.S., have been more liberal in their interpretation of the laws, which ultimately influences their policies and procedures for the detainment of terrorists. In this Discussion, you explore more examples of ambiguities in international law and consider the impact on U.S. polices and procedures regarding the detainment, designation, and treatment of terrorists.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article "Administrative Detention in Armed Conflict" and the online article "International Law and the Nation-State at the U.N.: A Guide for U.S. Policymakers." Pay particular attention to examples in which international law regarding terrorism is ambiguous and consider the impact on U.S. terrorism policies and procedures.
  • Select two specific examples in which international law regarding terrorism is ambiguous to use for this assignment.
  • Think about how each of the examples you selected did or might influence U.S. policies and procedures regarding the detainment, designation, and/or treatment of terrorists.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 two examples in which international law regarding terrorism is ambiguous. Then explain the implications of each example on U.S. policies and procedures regarding the detainment, designation, and/or treatment of terrorists. Be specific. 

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