On Monday, March 18, the Harvard Law School Federalist Society will sponsor a debate on the Bush administration ‘s proposal to use military tribunals to try suspected foreign terrorists. John Yoo, deputy assistant attorney general, and Harvard Law School Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter will be the participants. Yoo is a published expert on the war powers of the president, and Slaughter is one of the world ‘s foremost international law scholars. The two-hour debate will begin at 4 p.m. in the Ames Courtroom in Austin Hall. It is free and open to the public.

“Since September 11, the legal implications of responding to terrorism have always been lurking in the background, and sometimes that are brought into sharp relief,” said J.R. Parker, president of the HLS Federalist Society. “One of the most significant issues is President Bush ‘s reservation of the power to try suspected terrorists in military tribunals or commissions rather than in the courts.”

Slaughter, a leading advocate for the use of international tribunals to try suspected terrorists, has written that military tribunals violate “the values embodied in our Constitution.” Yoo, on the other hand, has said the problem with an international tribunal is the lack of a death penalty option. “For political considerations, it ‘s important for the United States to have that option,” he says.

The Federalist Society is an association of conservative and libertarian law students dedicated to bringing discussion and debate to law school campuses.

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