US military orders first court-martial for civilian contractor under amended law

[JURIST] A court-martial was ordered Sunday for Alaa "Alex" Mohammad Ali, a dual Iraqi-Canadian citizen working as a translator in Iraq. Accused of having committed aggravated assault in February in connection with the stabbing death of another contractor, he is the first civilian charged [JURIST report] by the military since a 2006 amendment [S 2766 materials] to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) [text] granted the military jurisdiction over civilians accompanying US troops in a combat zone and the first civilian charged under military law since the Vietnam war. AP has more.

In 2007, Congress enacted the 2008 defense authorization bill [HR 1585 materials] as an additional measure [JURIST report] to bring all civilian contractors [Parameters backgrounder] in Iraq under the military's jurisdiction. Such prosecutions could not succeed previously [USAF guidance document] because of earlier court rulings [Grisham v. Hagan opinion text] that the military did not have jurisdiction over civilian contractors without a declaration of war by Congress.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.