Federal judge discusses Guantanamo habeas rights with defense lawyers

[JURIST] Chief Justice Royce Lamberth [official profile] of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held an off-the-record meeting Wednesday with defense lawyers for enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] to discuss court procedures in light of the US Supreme Court's recent opinion in Boumediene v. Bush [text, PDF; JURIST report]. The group reportedly discussed how Guantanamo prisoners' challenges in civilian courts might be affected by the controversial ruling, which determined that terrorism detainees have US habeas corpus rights. The meeting also addressed issues of scheduling, including possible delays in the military commission trials [JURIST news archive] of the detainees. Reuters has more.

Last week's ruling was the not the first time that the Supreme Court has ruled against the government in a case concerning the legal rights of enemy combatants. In June 2006, the Supreme Court held [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that the military commission system as initially constituted violated both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Convention. Congress subsequently passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [DOD materials], which established the current military commissions system. The Court's decision was criticized [JURIST report] by US President George W. Bush and Attorney General Michael Mukasey. UN human rights chief Louise Arbour and rights activists praised [JURIST report] the Court for its decision.

 

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