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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Court Prohibits Policies Limiting Guantánamo Prisoners’ Access to Counsel

Oct 1st, 2012 Uncategorized

Earlier this month, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the Obama Administration regarding policies that limited access to counsel for those Guantánamo Bay prisoners who are not challenging their detention.

In his opinion, Judge Royce Lamberth wrote, “It is clear that the government had no legal authority to unilaterally impose [the new rules],” and further stated that access to the courts “means nothing without access to counsel.”

As a New York Times editorial described, the new rules gave the Guantánamo military commander “authority and discretion” to define when and if attorneys and detainees met and whether the lawyers could obtain access to case files containing classified information.

The article also reports that the rules that have governed such matters for the past eight years are secured by a court order which provides that all prisoners will have access to lawyers and that the lawyers will have access to classified information.

 

Read the full New York Times editorial here.

Read the full court opinion here.

Read the court order here.

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