WHEREAS, in response to the events of September 11, 2001, Congress enacted a Joint Resolution (Public Law 107-40) on September 18, 2001, authorizing the President "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons;" and
WHEREAS, on November 13, 2001, the President issued a Military Order, which, among other things, provides that non-citizens of the United States whom the President deems to be, or to have been, members of the al Qaida organization or to have engaged in, aided or abetted, or conspired to commit acts of international terrorism against the United States or its citizens or to have knowingly harbored such individuals, are subject to detention by military authorities and trial before a military commission; and
WHEREAS, the American Bar Association has appointed a Task Force on Terrorism and the Law, which on January 4, 2002, issued a Report and Recommendations on Military Commissions; and
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association recognizes the need to respond effectively to the events of September 11, 2001, and the risks to the United States and its citizens posed by international terrorism, but believes it essential that the procedures for military commissions should assure, as the President directed in his Military Order, that all accused persons be afforded a "full and fair trial."
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association endorses all the recommendations of the ABA Task Force, including, without limitation, adoption of "appropriate principles of law and rules of procedures and evidence prescribed for courts-martial" (Manual for Courts-Martial, Preamble, Paragraph 2(b)(2) ) and procedures to conform with Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for an independent and impartial tribunal, with proceedings open to the press and public, except for specific and compelling reasons, and the following rights for the accused: the presumption of innocence; prompt notice of charges, and adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense; trial without undue delay; to be present, and to be represented by counsel of choice; to examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance of witnesses in his behalf under the same conditions as the witnesses against him; to the free assistance of an interpreter; not be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt; and the review of any conviction and sentence by a higher tribunal; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association specifically supports the additional recommendation of the ABA Task Force that any person subject to detention or trial by a military commission in the United States should be permitted to seek habeas corpus relief in United States court; trial observers, if available, who have appropriate security clearance should be permitted to attend the proceedings of military commissions; and no sentence of death should be permitted on less than a unanimous vote of all the members of a military commission; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor to take all necessary steps to publicize the Association's position as reflected in this Resolution and to inform the President, the Secretary of Defense and other officials of the importance of establishing rules and procedures for military commissions that incorporate these fundamental elements of a full and fair trial.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: January 24, 2002