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Criminal Courts Course Brief Essay

796 words - 4 pages

Hamdan v Rumsfeld
548 U.S. 557 (2006)

Facts: Petitioner, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, following the United States invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, was captured by militia forces and turned over to the United States. Hamdan was recognized as the bodyguard and personal driver for Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Following his capture, Hamdan was sent to Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba in 2002. On November 13, 2001, President George Bush issued a military order intended to govern the overall treatment of Non-Citizens related to the War on Terrorism. In July 2003, the Bush administration deemed Hamdan, alongside 5 other detainees, eligible to be tried in front of a military commission ...view middle of the document...

On November 7, 2005, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the authority was there to be tried by military commission and how the Geneva Conventions would be displayed.

Issue: Whether Hamdan was triable my military commission and whether he was subject to UCMJ and Geneva Conventions

Holding: No. The United States Supreme Court reversed The Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia’s decision. The Charge does not support the commission’s jurisdiction therefore the commission lacks authority to try Hamdan. The President does not have the authority to create military commissions insofar to that they don’t cooperate with the UCMJ or Geneva Conventions.

Rule of Law: The crime of conspiracy charged upon Hamdan was not a war crime or an overt act from which he was caught “red handed” in the theatre of war, but the charge brought upon him was yet an agreement that accused him of crimes that long predated the attacks on September 11, 2001. While his actions may have been a crime; they are not a crime to be tried by the law of war in front of a military commission. No acts alleged to have been performed by Hamdan were war crimes, nor necessarily in the time of war or theatre of war. The President must follow the UCMJ, the American common law of war, and the Geneva Conventions. Hamdan is entitled to the UCMJ and Geneva Conventions.


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