on November 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Ninth Circuit Rules Unconstitutional Use of Material Witness Statute to Detain Terrorist Suspects

By Jonathan Abrams, HLS 2012 NSJ Staff Writer On September 4th, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down an important ruling on preventive detention, holding that the federal government’s use of the material witness statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3144, to detain suspected terrorists is unconstitutional. The case, al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d 949 (9th Cir. […]

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on November 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

NSJ Analysis: Connecting the Rule of Law with Afghanistan’s Security Strategy

By NSJ Staff Writer On October 11, 2009, The New York Times reported that, “Afghanistan’s judiciary is so weak that Afghans increasingly turn to a shadow Taliban court system,” especially in rural areas where people lack access to the judicial process.  As the Obama Administration continues to review its Afghanistan strategy to determine whether or not to increase U.S. troop […]

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on November 2, 2009 at 9:24 am

HLS Hosted Panel of Cybersecurity Experts Discuss Cyberterrorist Threat

By Mat Trachok, HLS 2012 NSJ Staff Writer What exactly is the nature of the cyberterrorist threat?  How realistic is the prospect of nation-to-nation cyberwarfare?  How should the government respond to and protect against such threats?  What role should the law play in fighting cyberterrorism?  On Wednesday, October 28th, the Harvard Law School National Security & Law Association and the […]

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on October 25, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Harvard Kennedy School Panel Discusses Bridging the Gap Between Human Rights and National Security

By Peter Dickos, HLS 2012 NSJ Staff Writer The interests of national security and human rights often seem in opposition to each other.  If that is the rule, then it is one that Sarah Sewall, former Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, breaks every day.  Sewall, also a former […]

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on October 25, 2009 at 12:38 pm

UK High Court Orders Disclosure of Torture Allegation Materials

By Mary Ostberg, HLS 2012 NSJ Staff Writer On Friday, October 16, 2009, the United Kingdom’s High Court ruled that seven paragraphs of UK-U.S. exchanges detailing the alleged torture of Binyam Mohamed should be disclosed.  In reversing its 2008 ruling, the High Court called the public interest in disclosing the paragraphs “overwhelming.” Mr. Mohamed, a British resident who was born […]

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on October 21, 2009 at 7:31 am

Administration Softens Sudan Policy; Maintains Support for ICC Prosecution

By Brian Itami, HLS 2012 NSJ Staff Writer The Obama Administration’s Sudan policy, unveiled on Monday, October 19, 2009, maintains support for the prosecution of President Omar al-Bashir in the International Criminal Court (ICC) despite seeking greater engagement with the Sudanese government. The three major policy objectives include bringing about an end to the “conflict, gross human rights abuses, and […]

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on October 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Senate Approves Transfer of Guantanamo Detainees for Trial; Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Kiyemba v. Obama  

By NSJ Staff Writer The Obama Administration is one step closer to achieving its goal of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by January 22, 2010.  On Tuesday, October 20, 2009, the Senate, by a vote of 79 to 19, passed the $44.1 billion budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes a provision that would permit the […]

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on October 20, 2009 at 8:12 am

Mukasey Argues Against Trying Guantanamo Detainees in Civilian Courts

By NSJ Staff Writer Today’s Wall Street Journal features an op-ed from former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, in which he argues that alleged terrorist detainees should not be tried in US civilian courts. In particular, Mukasey criticizes Attorney General Holder’s August decision to try Ahmed Ghailani in New York rather than Guantanamo for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and […]

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on October 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm

U.S. Military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) Policy Criticized at Harvard Law School Panel

By Anthony Palermo and Lindsay Schare “DADT is government-sanctioned discrimination. There are thousands of closeted gay women and men serving in our armed forces today, and we disrespect their service by clinging on to this insulting law,” said Captain Joe Lopez, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a current JD/MBA candidate at Harvard Law […]

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on October 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Federal Court Upholds CIA Refusal to Release Statements of Alleged Torture

A federal judge ruled Friday that the government may withhold portions of records that allegedly describe torture and abuse in a case related to detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for information on 14 detainees and unredacted Combatant Status Review Tribunal (“CSRT”) hearing transcripts.  In response, the CIA […]

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