Quiz 13: Crimes Against the State

Criminal Justice

Brief summary of the case: Judge Mr.RF and the non-profit organization HLP filed an injunction for removing the criminal ban on providing material support to two foreign terrorist organizations, P organization and L terrorist group.The plaintiffs argue that the material-support statute is constitutionally vague and it challenges the freedom of speech guaranteed by the first amendment. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of court of appeals holding that the statute is partially unconstitutionally vague.The prohibition of providing personnel and training to the foreign terrorist organization is not clearly mentioned in the statute. 1) Activities pursued by Judge Mr.RF and HLP Organization: Judge Mr.RF and HLP Organization wishes to provide certain training and recruitment activities to the foreign terrorist organizations, P organization and L terrorist group.The following are the activities suggest by Mr.RF and the organization: • To train the members of P organization to use the humanitarian and international law peacefully in order to settle the disputes. • To train them in approaching various representative organizations such as United Nations for Relief Funds (UNRF). • To engage in political advocacy on behalf of people living in the particular area in which these terrorist organization operates. 2) Arguments supporting the majority opinion: The majority is of the view that the prohibition of material support and resources to foreign terrorist organizations are not violating the right to freedom and speech.The support given to these terrorist organizations by the citizen in the form of training and other activities can be misused for violent terrorist attacks. The first amendment of Country U's constitution provides the right to speech to every citizen.Additionally, the amendment ensures that it will not adversely affect the security of the country.The right of the citizen to support any association is not violated when some restrictions are implemented in relation with the terrorist organizations. 3) Arguments supporting the dissenting opinion: The dissenting opinion states that the prohibition of material support and resources are violating the right to freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble.Persons who are willing to provide support to the foreign terrorist organization will be completely aware about the activities in which they would be engaged.Those persons will know whether their acts contribute towards the terrorist activities of the organization. The dissent opinion also emphasizes the point that there should be clarity regarding the facts related to the prohibition of providing personnel and training to the terrorist organization.Otherwise, the government will take criminal action against those who are engaged in training and advocacy with lawful political motives. 4) Mr.K's opinion: Mr.K supports the opinion of the majority stating that material support and resource clause does not violate the right to free speech and right to peacefully assemble.Most of the terrorist organizations have an objective of violent attacks or aggressive conquering.Majority of the violent attacks happening all around the world has a connection with terrorist groups in some way or the other. Thus, letting the citizens to provide support to the terrorist organization may affect the security of the country adversely.The government should impose restrictions for the support that the citizens might give to the terrorist organizations.This restriction does not mean that the right to freedom and speech of the citizens are violated. 5) Mr.K's response to Judge Mr.RF's statement: Mr.RF in his statement says that he is opposing violence and trying to promote non-violence.The intention of Mr.RF is appreciable.However, the acts of Mr.RF may indirectly result in supporting the terrorist motives. The terrorist organizations may misuse the material support and resources offered by the citizens of other nations.Thus, Mr.K is of the opinion that Mr.RF has to be cautious while engaging in supporting such organizations. Conclusion: The Supreme Court has affirmed the judgment of court of appeal.The judgment holds that the first amendment is not violated by prohibiting the material support and resources to terrorist groups.Though the statute is partially vague regarding the prohibition of providing personnel and training to the organizations, it tries to ensure the security of the nation.