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Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld 548 US 557 (2006) - Case Study Example

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Hamdan v. Rumsfeld 548 US 557 (2006) Facts: This case involves Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who was detained in Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba after his capture during the invasion of Afghanistan, and is the plaintiff in this case. Hamdan was the bodyguard and driver of Osama Bin Laden and is a citizen of Yemen…
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Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld 548 US 557 (2006) Case Study
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Download file to see previous pages Bush, President of the United States. After a year of detention, President Bush deemed him eligible to be tried before a military commission that was authorized under Military Commission Order No. 1. The military commission would have allowed the inclusion of evidence with no probative value or acquired through illegal means, made it possible that there be evidence used against the accused that the accused would not be able to see, and the appeals would only be within the Executive branch. Opposing this, Hamdan filed a writ of habeas corpus, in chief arguing that a military commission conducting trial in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Geneva Conventions should be declared illegal and with no power to proceed. Procedural History: Hamdan filed his petition before the United States District Court for the District of Colombia, which found in his favor. Upon Appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously reversed the decision of the District Court. Subsequently, on 7 November 2005 the Supreme Court issued a writ of certiorari to hear the case, and it was argued before the said court on 28 March 2006. On 29 June 2006, the Supreme Court issued its decision, reversing the Court of Appeals and finding in favor of Hamdan. Issues: 1. The first issue is whether or not the provisions in the military commission that would allow the accused to be convicted using evidence that he had not seen or heard, or evidence that may not be in compliance with admissibility or relevancy rules in other court martial proceedings violate the uniformity rule and the principle that “no procedural rule must be contrary or inconsistent with the UCMJ”? 2. The second issue is whether or not Hamdan can invoke the guarantees of the Geneva Conventions given the contextual background of the capture of Hamdan, and giving due regard to the fact that such capture was done pursuant to the war with Al Qaeda, which is not a High Contracting Party to the Conventions? Holding: The Supreme Court answered in the affirmative to both questions. It held firstly that the deviations in the military commission rendered it defective, and secondly, that the Geneva Conventions could be validly invoked by Hamdan. Rationale: The Supreme Court relied on the case of Ex Parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942) as justification for granting certiorari to Hamdan, stating that trial by military commissions surfaces important questions about the balance of powers of the three branches of government. Likewise, the case of In Re Yamashita 327 U.S. 1, 11 (1946) recognizes that the exigencies of war may demand extraordinary measures. In the case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004) it reaffirmed the war powers of the President, including the authority to convene military commissions. With respect to the first question, the Supreme Court noted that in the military commission created by Military Commission Order No. 1, Section 6 permits exclusion of the accused from proceedings and denial of his and his civilian counsel’s access to evidence that may be used to convict him. The grounds for the denial of access "include the protection of information classified or classifiable . . .; information protected by law or rule from unauthorized disclosure; the physical safety of participants in Commission proceedings, including prospective ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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