Small Wars and the Law: Options for Prosecuting the Insurgents in Iraq


This Article contrasts the various bodies of law and venues under which Iraqi insurgents could be prosecuted. The ambiguous nature of an insurgency as a legal concept complicates efforts to apply traditional judicial methods. Insurgencies straddle several different bodies of law; as a limited conflict between a non-state actor and an occupying power, they are something less than a war but something more than criminal conduct. As a result, none of the options for prosecution is well suited to the task, and each has significant political or practical shortcomings.