FLJS publishes findings of research into courts in times of crisis

13 March 2009

The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, in collaboration with the Aspen Institute's Justice and Society programme, is pleased to announce the publication of a report entitled: 'In Times of Crisis, Can We Trust the Courts?' It examines the use of detention without trial, and questions whether the courts can be trusted during national security, political, and communal crises to protect civil liberties and provide an effective check on executive power.

The report, written by Daniel Butt, Programme Director of the Foundation's Courts and the Making of Public Policy programme and Tutor of Political Science at Oxford University, presents the findings of a workshop organized by FLJS, and held at the Aspen Institute in 2008.

The report is accompanied by a series of policy briefs written by a selection of workshop participants, available to download from the links below.

Workshop Report: 'In Times of Crisis, Can We Trust the Courts?
Dr Daniel Butt, FLJS and Tutor in Poltical Science, Oxford University

Report and critical analysis of the workshop held at the Aspen Institute.


Policy briefs

Can Courts Be ‘Trusted’ in National Security Crises?

Matthew Waxman, former Director of Policy Planning, US Dept. of State

Waxman weighs the conflicting concerns for national security and civil liberty, assesses the Supreme Court stance in Guantanamo cases, and suggests lessons to be learned in the future.

Trusting the Courts in Times of Internal Strife
Fionnuala Ni Aolain, Director, Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, Belfast

As the community in Northern Ireland braces itself in defiance of the recent attacks by the continuation IRA, Professor Aolain examines the implications of court interventions in internal conlicts.

Bush v. Gore and the 2000 US Presidential Election
Steven Shapiro, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union

As judgment is passed on Brack Obama's first fifty days in office, the Legal Director of the ACLU assess the legal disuptes surrounding his predecessor's controversial appointment.

Courts and the Political Process in Times of Crisis
Lisa Miller, Associate Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University, NJ

Miller takes an empirical approach to critique the accepted wisdom that the judiciary acts in opposition to other branches of government.