1997 Report of the Overseas Jurisdiction Advisory Committee

A decade ago Congress established an advisory committee to examine the very issues of contractor liability in war zones abroad that have recently been in the headlines again.

The Overseas Jurisdiction Advisory Committee spent a year analyzing the state of the law, found “significant jurisdictional gaps” in the government’s ability to prosecute crimes committed abroad by contractors, and recommended legislative remedies.

The Committee’s extensive report (pdf) laid the foundation for the 2000 Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which applied to defense contractors, and which would be extended by now-pending legislation to non-defense contractors as well.

Up to now, the Committee’s report has not been available online, rendering it practically inaccessible. A copy of the report obtained by Secrecy News is now available on the Federation of American Scientists web site.

See the Report of the Advisory Committee on Criminal Law Jurisdiction Over Civilians Accompanying the Armed Forces in Time of Armed Conflict (Overseas Jurisdiction Advisory Committee), April 1997.