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Military Commissions History
SNAPSHOT: MILITARY COMMISSIONS IN THE UNITED STATES

Military commissions are a form of military tribunal convened to try individuals for unlawful conduct associated with war. Though sometimes controversial, they are rooted in U.S. law and in the international laws of war. Foreshadowed by military tribunals convened during the American Revolution, the term “military commission” first became common in the U.S. during the Mexican-American War of the mid 19th century. Subsequent practice, legislation and U.S. Supreme Court precedents have shaped them. Today, a Convening Authority appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense convenes military commissions under the Military Commissions Act of 2009, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on October 27, 2009. Here is a snapshot of military commissions from the Revolutionary War to the present.


Revolutionary War

1778
1780

Mexican-American War

1846-1848

U.S. Civil War

1862
1863
1864
1865

World War I - World War II

1916
1920
1942
1944-1950

Post-War Years

1950
2001
2004
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013