Home > Centre for the Study of Human Rights > Events > 2013 > A Kangaroo in Obama's Court: Nashiri before the Gitmo Military Commission

A Kangaroo in Obama's Court: Nashiri before the Gitmo Military Commission

Page Contents >

In partnership with the Department of International Relations

  • Friday 11 October 2013
  • Speaker: Professor Lawrence R. Douglas
  • Chair: Dr Jens Meierhenrich

The trial of Abd al-Nashiri, the senior al Qaeda lieutenant alleged to have masterminded the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, before a military commission in Guantanamo Bay represents the most significant criminal case to come before a military court since leading Nazi functionaries stood trial in occupied Germany. This lecture will consider the extraordinary legal challenges that the trial poses. Can a tribunal originally born of an impatient contempt for due process now prove itself a legitimate institution of American law? 


Lawrence Douglas is the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought, at Amherst College, USA. A graduate of Brown University and the Yale Law School, Douglas is the prize-winning author of several books, including The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust, a widely acclaimed study of war crimes trials, and two novels, The Catastrophist (2007) and The Vices (2011). He has co-edited twelve books on contemporary legal issues, and has lectured in many countries, including addresses to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court. The recipient of major fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Institute for International Education, Douglas has served as a visiting professor of law at the University of London and at Humboldt Universität, Berlin. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including, The Yale Law Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The New Yorker, The Times Literary Supplement, and Harper’s.