news from the ABA Standing Committee: breakfast event with Judge Lamberth re Article III terrorism trials; GTMO/BTIF habeas database; audio of al panels and speakers from the recent Review of the Field Conference

A lot of interesting material emerging out of the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security

1)     Next Standing Committee Breakfast Program – “Trying Terrorists in Article III Courts” — December 17, 2009 – 8:00 a.m. – University Club – keynote speaker will be Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Letter of invitation and registration form attached.

2)     Searchable database created by Standing Committee containing every Guantanamo and Bagram detainee habeas petition brought before the DC courts since the Supreme Court decision – details below

3)     Nineteenth Annual Review Conference audio recording of every panel and keynote speaker now posted on website –

On June 12, 2008, the Supreme Court held in Boumediene v. Bush that: “[T]he costs of delay can no longer be borne by those who are held in custody [at Guantanamo Bay]…The detainees in these cases are entitled to a prompt habeas corpus hearing.” While this ruling established definitively the right of habeas corpus for detainees at Guantanamo, it also left unresolved many important questions about how these habeas petitions would be adjudicated. As a consequence, the DC District Court and Court of Appeals have been charged with deciding such issues as: the substantive scope of the Executive’s detention authority; the reach of the suspension clause to Bagram; whether conditions of confinement are open to habeas challenge; standards for admitting hearsay into evidence; and procedures for handling classified intelligence reports.

In one of his first acts as chair of the Standing Committee, Harvey Rishikof organized a project to document this habeas litigation. The end product of this effort is a searchable database, created by the Standing Committee, containing every Guantanamo and Bagram detainee habeas petition brought before the DC courts since the Supreme Court decision. We hope the database will prove useful to legal scholars, practitioners, and journalists studying this issue, and we encourage you to send along suggestions for improving its functionality to our program assistant, Matt Owens, at

To begin using the database, click HERE.

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