Four IU McKinney Alumni Taking Part in Military Commissions Observation Project


Jeff Meding at Camp JusticeJeffrey Meding, ’13, traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while Hattie Harman, ’10, and Jeff Kerner, ’02, went to Fort Meade in Maryland to observe hearings as part of IU McKinney’s participation in the Military Commissions Observation Project. Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Pat Riley, ’74, traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the week of April 21 to observe hearings related to the attack on the USS Cole. All of this work is part of IU McKinney’s participation in the Military Commissions Observation Project (MCOP).

Meding was at Guantanamo Bay to observe hearings in the case of the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Harman and Kerner witnessed the same hearings by secure video link at Fort Meade. Many of the participants blogged about their experiences on the law school’s MCOP blog. Judge Riley was to observe hearings in the case of the suicide attacks on the USS Cole.

MCOP logoIU McKinney’s Program in International Human Rights Law (PIHRL) was awarded nongovernmental organization (NGO) observer status in late February by the Pentagon’s Convening Authority for Guantanamo Bay U.S. Military Commissions. The Pentagon grants observer status to NGOs based in part on a group’s academic or practical work involving international human rights law in the context of armed conflict and criminal trials, the group’s mission to advance human rights through advocacy, the group’s respect for the rule of law, and the group’s ability to reach large audiences around the globe. Among the 18 other groups with this status are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Bar Association.

Alumni, faculty and staff of IU McKinney who are interested in observing subsequent hearings may learn more details about how to apply on the PIHRL MCOP page.

Professor Edwards is the Carl M. Gray Professor of Law at IU McKinney, PIHRL  executive director, and is the author of LL.M. Roadmap: An International Student¬ís Guide to U.S. Law School Programs, a resource for LL.M. students, graduates, and applicants around the world.

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