Center for Terrorism Law
Military Justice Mission
To offer real-time legal aid to service members wrongfully accused of misconduct in the performance of their official duties, free of charge. Fighting for those who fight for us.
Founded in 2003, the Center for Terrorism Law is a research center dedicated to the study of legal issues associated with antiterrorism and counterterrorism. Particular emphasis is given to cyberterrorism, bioterrorism, critical infrastructure and information assurance technologies. The goal of the Center is to examine current and potential legal issues related to terrorism in light of the challenge of achieving and maintaining a proper balance between national security and civil liberties. As a research facility, this goal is pursued through teaching terrorism law courses; professional exchanges such as symposia and consultations; writing, commenting on and publishing written materials; conducting training; and ensuring access to extensive information resources regarding terrorism.
The Director of the Center for Terrorism Law is Professor of Law Jeffrey F. Addicott, S.J.D. The staff consists of administrative personnel, research fellows (second- and third-year law students) and expert consultants (subject matter experts in a variety of areas).
In order to develop an integrated approach to terrorism law, the Center for Terrorism law is affiliated with a variety of institutions — educational, government, military, business and media — to address issues that have impact across multiple disciplines related to homeland security concerns. These strategic partnerships include communication and collaboration in education, training, research and support. Key partnerships include: U.S. Northern Command (J-7 Homeland Security/Defense Education Consortium); Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia School of Law; International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, etc.
The Center for Terrorism Law is an educational and working institution, which operates hand-in-hand with government, business and academia on a variety of legal matters associated with the Global War on Terrorism. It is our intent that over time, as a sufficient body of knowledge is developed, that the legal lessons learned in the Global War on Terrorism may become the basis for fixed templates to more efficiently manage the applicable legal issues.
The Center for Terrorism Law’s Military Justice Pro Bono Mission started in 2007 after Professor of Law Jeffrey F. Addicott, S.J.D., took the case of Master Sgt. Troy Anderson and Capt. Dave Staffel. The center was successful in exonerating Anderson and Staffel from a premeditated murder charge of an Afghan man.
In 2011, the Center for Terrorism Law came to the defense of Lt. Joshua Waddell in its first case dealing with the Rules of Engagement. Waddell was exonerated for all perceived wrongdoing in the shooting of an enemy combatant. Though the Marine chain of command was not willing to discuss Waddell’s case, Addicott drew media and congressional attention to the abuse of Rules of Engagement practices.
The center also succeeded in rescinding Maj. John Suprynowicz’s General Officer Letter of Reprimand in 2016. Suprynowicz, an infantry combat veteran in three wars, had been accused of misconduct in a recruiting program sponsored by the Army. Not only was the center instrumental in getting all the criminal charges quashed, it also provided three detailed rebuttal memorandums to the Commanding General to assist him in his final decision on the General Officer Letter of Reprimand action.
The center was able to get Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch re-enlisted in the Army in 2017. He was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command for allegations that he had released information concerning the special operations raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 and for talking about classified information in a local Fox TV interview in 2016.
The Center conducts seminars, conferences, and training workshops with business entities, law enforcement agencies (at all levels to include the FBI), Department of Defense, foreign nations and other educational institutions. These events include challenges associated with human rights, cyber terrorism and infrastructure assurance, disaster relief, border issues, bioterrorism, information assurance, personnel recovery and training, and force protection issues. The events have been held in the United States and abroad including in Germany, India, China, England, Mexico, France, Egypt and Israel.
Operating through the Center for Terrorism Law, the St. Mary’s University School of Law offers individual terrorism law and national security related courses. It is imperative that the nation have competent and trained attorneys (armed with a clear understanding of terrorism law) who can successfully operate in both the private and public sectors.
Scholarship and Sharing of Information
The Center for Terrorism Law has produced an extensive amount of scholarship on legal issues related to terrorism — law review articles, books and monographs. Further, the center renders legal briefs in court cases to include the United States Supreme Court. The most recent text book published is (2014): Terrorism Law: Materials, Cases, Comments (7th Edition). This book includes an extensive examination of the legal issues contained in court cases associated with terrorism issues and addresses specific concerns to include targeted killing, interrogation, civil liberties and cyber terrorism. The most recent book published is: Radical Islam: Why? (2016).
The Center for Terrorism Law conducts a variety of research in associated areas to include defining terrorism, war powers, civil liberty concerns, Congressional powers, Executive powers, cooperative law enforcement, military support to law enforcement, Department of Defense responsibilities, Department of Homeland Security, criminal prosecutions of terrorists, various criminal statutes, domestic surveillance, information security, infrastructure assurance, habeas corpus matters, cyber-offenses, investigations of terrorism, public access to government proceedings, etc.
In conjunction with a staff of subject matter experts, the Center for Terrorism Law is able to engage in top to bottom research study and analysis to determine the full legal ramifications of assorted issues associated terrorism law.
Media and Public Presentations
The center provides legal insight and subject matter expertise regarding the impact of terrorism on business, national security and civil liberties. Addicott has made thousands of media appearances in national and international news outlets.
Help to Service Members
The Center for Terrorism Law renders real-time support to individual service members on a case-by-case basis. Assistance ranges from help at court martial proceedings, help at administrative proceedings, help with correcting official military records, and help at non-judicial proceedings. No charge is required for any assistance provided.
Housed in the Raba Building at the St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, the center is equipped with a conference center, offices and a training classroom.