On 18 January, the Department of Defense presented to Congress its Manual outlining rules for trial of terrorist suspects by military commissions, to be conducted under the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006. Human rights organizations criticized the new Manual for failing to mitigate the due process concerns raised by the MCA, such as the use of evidence obtained through coercion, the exclusion of the defendant from trial in some instances and limitations on the defendant’s access to exculpatory evidence. The Manual contains some improvements over the previous military commissions’ rules, including rules on attorney-client privilege and self-representation.

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