Guantanamo Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court [December 7, 2005] [open pdf - 136KB]
"After the U.S. Supreme Court held that U.S. courts have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2241 to hear legal challenges on behalf of more than 500 persons detained at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in connection with the war against terrorism (Rasul v. Bush), the Pentagon established administrative hearings, called 'Combatant Status Review Tribunals' (CSRTs), to allow the detainees to contest their status as enemy combatants, and informed them of their right to pursue relief in federal court by seeking a writ of habeas corpus. Lawyers have filed more than a dozen petitions on behalf of some 60 detainees in the District Court for the District of Columbia, where judges have reached conflicting conclusions as to whether the detainees have any enforceable rights to challenge their treatment and detention. In one, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a federal judge ruled that a petitioner must be treated as a prisoner of war until a competent tribunal has decided otherwise, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and that the procedural rules the Department of Defense set up to govern military commissions are inconsistent with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and therefore, the commissions lack jurisdiction. The government temporarily suspended the operation of military tribunals until the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district courts opinion, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari, where the case is pending as of the date of this report."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33180
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/