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Samantar v. Yousef: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Foreign Officials

Description: On June 1, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in Samantar v. Yousef that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which governs the immunity of foreign states in U.S. courts, does not apply in suits against foreign officials. The report also addresses legislation considered by the 111th Congress that would have affected the immunity of foreign officials (the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, S. 2930, 111th Cong.).
Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of recent legislation relevant to the issue as well as some previous efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

Description: This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the court of appeals decision. It also discusses legislative efforts to address these issues(S. 1535 and H.R. 3143).
Date: January 22, 2015
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Military Commissions Act of 2009: Overview and Legal Issues

Description: This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under the revised Military Commissions Act (MCA) to those established in 2006. After reviewing the history of the implementation of military commissions in the "global war on terrorism," the report provides an overview of the procedural safeguards provided in the MCA. Finally, the report provides two tables comparing the MCA as amended by the MCA 2009 to the original MCA enacted in 2006 and to general courts-martial.
Date: April 6, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Military Commissions Act of 2009: Overview and Legal Issues

Description: This report provides an analysis of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and its financial status, summarizes the major challenges facing the program, including issues affecting its long-term financial solvency, presents some alternative approaches for managing and financing the flood losses and describes pending legislation on this issue.
Date: April 6, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Samantar v. Yousef: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Foreign Officials

Description: On June 1, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in Samantar v. Yousef that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which governs the immunity of foreign states in U.S. courts, does not apply in suits against foreign officials. This report provides an overview of the FSIA, followed by a consideration of the remaining options for foreign officials who seek immunity from lawsuits, as well as some of the questions that may emerge from each option. The report also addresses legislation that would affect the immunity of foreign officials, including S. 2930.
Date: August 24, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework

Description: This report provides an overview of the relationship between executive and legislative authority over national security information, and summarizes the current laws that form the legal framework protecting classified information, including current executive orders and some agency regulations pertaining to the handling of unauthorized disclosures of classified information by government officers and employees. The report also summarizes criminal laws that pertain specifically to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, as well as civil and administrative penalties. Finally, the report describes some recent developments in executive branch security policies and legislation currently before Congress (S. 3454).
Date: December 17, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization Wikileaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals.
Date: September 10, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Military Commissions Act of 2006: Background and Proposed Amendments

Description: This report provides a background and analysis of military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act of 2006. After reviewing the history of the implementation of military commissions in the "global war on terrorism," the report provides an overview of the procedural safeguards provided in the MCA. The report identifies pending legislation, including Senate-passed S. 1390, and describes proposals suggested by the Obama Administration. Finally, the report provides two charts comparing the MCA with proposed legislation.
Date: August 11, 2009
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues

Description: This report discusses the legal framework that applies to private security contractors (PSCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. After presenting a general description of the types of law applicable, including international humanitarian law and relevant status of forces agreements, the report addresses some implications of international law and a multilateral proposal for the adoption of international "best practices" regarding the use of PSCs. The report follows up with a discussion of jurisdiction over PSC personnel in U.S. courts, whether federal or military courts, identifying possible means of prosecuting contractor personnel who are accused of violating the law overseas in the context of U.S. military operations, including a listing of known cases that have occurred or are pending. Finally, the report briefly discusses the possible implication of the roles of private security contractors with respect to inherently governmental functions.
Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues

Description: This report discusses the legal framework that applies to private security contractors (PSCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report follows up with a discussion of jurisdiction over PSC personnel in U.S. courts, identifying possible means of prosecuting contractor personnel who are accused of violating the law overseas in the context of U.S. military operations. Finally, the report briefly discusses the possible implication of the roles of private security contractors with respect to inherently governmental functions.
Date: December 22, 2009
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court

Description: This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a table comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court.
Date: November 19, 2009
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: This report provides a background to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012, the Authorization to use Military Force act, and the President's power to detain "enemy combatants." It then gives a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals and an overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to national security. It concludes by discussion Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons.
Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented.
Date: April 11, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court

Description: The initiation of military commission proceedings against Khalid Sheik Mohammad and four others for their alleged involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks has focused renewed attention on the differences between trials in federal court and those conducted by military commission. This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court.
Date: May 9, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented.
Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zivotofsky v. Kerry: The Jerusalem Passport Case and Its Potential Implications for Congress's Foreign Affairs Powers

Description: This report briefly describes legislative efforts to modify U.S. policy with respect to Jerusalem, in particular multiple enactments of the passport provision. The report then summarizes the Supreme Court decision, including concurrences and dissents. Finally, the report concludes by suggesting possible implications of the decision with respect to Congress's authority to influence foreign affairs.
Date: September 28, 2015
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation

Description: This report outlines the history of various efforts relating to benefits for victims of the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis, and describes several bills currently before Congress: the Justice for Former American Hostages in Iran Act of 2015, S. 868, a companion bill, H.R. 3338, and Section 122 of the Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016, S. 1635.
Date: November 2, 2015
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act.
Date: September 8, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of recent legislation relevant to the issue as well as some previous efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Date: June 26, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice

Description: This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under M.C.O. No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the UCMJ. The report notes some of the criticism directed at the President’s M.O., and explains how those concerns are addressed by the military commission orders and instructions. The report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense and standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial. The second chart, which compares procedural safeguards incorporated in the regulations with established procedures in courts martial, follows the same order and format used in CRS Report RL31262, Selected Procedural Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts, in order to facilitate comparison with safeguards provided in federal court and the International Criminal Court.
Date: July 25, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department