On May 21, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Al Maqaleh v. Gates that detainees held at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan cannot bring habeas corpus challenges in US courts. The circuit court reversed the district court's ruling, which allowed habeas corpus challenges by three Bagram detainees pursuant to the Supreme Court's test in Boumediene v. Bush. The DC Circuit found that the district court underestimated the significance of Bagram being located in an area of armed conflict, which differentiates the defendants' jurisdictional status from those detained at Guantanamo Bay. The court held that the current case was more comparable to Johnson v. Eisentrager, where the Supreme Court held that US courts had no jurisdiction over war criminals held in a US-administered German prison.
Learn more about Guantanamo Bay, Bagram Air Force Base, and habeas corpus petitions from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on the decision from Guest Columnist Amos Guiora on JURIST Forum.