The Response (film)
This paper assignment requires that you first view a short one half hour film called “The Response.” You can find this paper in the content section of Blackboard. After viewing the film please answer the question below.
Through the miracle of science, all the leaders and philosophers of the ancient and classical world have convened to advise the Judge Advocates General deciding on the status of their prisoner in the movie, The Response. As you may recall from the film, the JAG officers were struggling with the decision to classify their prisoner as an “enemy combatant.” As you will recall from the movie they disagreed about whether or not the exigencies of the War on Terror superseded traditional due process rights that are considered to be a feature of the rule of law. Not only could the officers not agree on this question but they couldn’t agree on whether or not the hearing that took place was a legal proceeding at all. One officer pointed out that the proceeding was simply to determine the “status of the prisoner” while another responded that the prisoner’s status determined whether or not the he could leave prison now or indeed ever.
The relationship of power to law and justice is one of the central questions of the Western Legal Tradition and for the Judges in the hearing at Guantanamo Bay. Invoking the ideas of three thinkers we have read for class, please advise the JAG judges on the legal status of their proceeding. Was it a legal proceeding or the exercise only of power? In answering this question please consider, and respond to the following questions:
1. Is there any distinction between power and law to control society?
2. Must power be connected to some higher moral purpose to make a hearing law governed?
3. What effect, if any, does the presence of self-interest and reason play in the achievement of a law governed system?
4. In answering question 3, consider whether any specific procedures help to promote or constrain the use of reason and self-interest.