Articles Tagged with meja

Here is an interesting read.  Kathrine J. Chapman, The Untouchables: Private Military Contractors’ Criminal Accountability under the UCMJ, 63 VANDERBILT L. REV. 1047 (2010).

The author argues that:

PMCs must be held accountable for their criminal actions, not merely to provide personal justice for those injured by their crimes, but also for the strategic objectives of organizing the U.S. military’s
available manpower effectively and retaining the support of citizens both domestic and abroad. At the same time, it is simply impractical to bring criminal sanctions against all PMCs for every possible crime
that they might commit. Criminal sanctions against contractors should, at the very least, reach egregious crimes and should focus on quasi-military PMCs. Operating at the battlefront, quasi-military PMCs pose the greatest threat to the U.S. military’s ability to control the contingency operation. Additionally, because they bear arms and wear uniforms like members of the U.S. military, the local populace is more likely to attribute their actions to the U.S. military. By providing justice for victims, criminal sanctions will further the strategic goal of winning the locals’ support and trust during counterinsurgency efforts.

Stars & Stripes reports.

A former airman has been convicted of second degree murder and witness tampering in connection with the death of an Army sergeant during a gang initiation ceremony in Germany.

Six other servicemembers have already been tried in military court in connection with the incident. Five received jail time ranging from two to 12 years. The sixth servicemember was found not guilty on all charges.

Huffington Post has this piece about PMC’s and the UCMJ.

It is common to complain that the while the use of private military contractors (PMC) has grown rapidly in the past decade, the legal apparatus to hold them accountable has failed to keep pace. But that is not as true as it once was. In fact, there are at least four distinct sources of criminal law that can hold contractors accountable for their actions: (1) international law, (2) host-nation law, (3) U.S. civilian law, and (4) U.S. military law. Of course, all of these have their own limitations and problems, such as jurisdiction and applicability.

But military law, at least for the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of PMC services, military law shows increased promise.

Huffington Post has a piece about MEJA.

In the perpetual debate over legal accountability of, and prosecution if necessary, of private military and security contractors one often sees the arguments reduced to two simplistic arguments.

PMSC opponents argue the contractors argue in a legal vacuum and with utter impunity. This is, of course, as anyone who has even done the most cursory reading on the subject knows, is utter nonsense.  . . . reports that:

A former U.S. Army contractor was arrested today in Newport News, Va., for allegedly killing one sailor and seriously injuring another in a vehicular collision in Kuwait[.]

Hanks is charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), a statute that gives U.S. courts jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, contractors or subcontractors of the Department of Defense.  If convicted, Hanks faces up to 10 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigative Division and is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorneys Micah D. Pharris and Steven C. Parker of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Hurt for the Eastern District of Virginia. 

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