Guantánamo Habeas Review: Are the D.C. District Court’s Decisions Consistent with IHL Internment Standards?
Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 42, December 2009
47 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 30, 2009
After the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 in Boumediene v. Bush that the detainees at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility are entitled to the privilege of habeas corpus to challenge the legality of their detention, the D.C. District Court started to take action on the hundreds of petitions filed. In these habeas proceedings, the court has faced the threshold legal question of the scope of the government’s authority to detain pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force as informed by the law of war. This article reviews how the court has delimited the permissible bounds of the government’s detention authority, specifically focusing on whether the court’s decisions are consistent with the internment standards under the law of war, international humanitarian law (IHL). This analysis seeks to assess whether the court’s application of the Bush Administration’s definition of “enemy combatant” or the new definition provided by the Obama Administration is broader or narrower than the IHL standards.
Keywords: Guantanamo, habeas, law of war, law of armed conflict, internment, detention
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