Blawg Review #138 is up at de novo for Human Rights Day. In a serious vein, this week brought the oral arguments in the Boumediene case in which Guantanamo inmates challenge their detention.

The Petitioners in these cases have all have been confined at Guantanamo for almost six years, yet (apparently) not one has ever had meaningful notice of the factual grounds of detention or a fair opportunity to dispute those grounds before a neutral decision-maker.

At issue is whether or not the Constitutional and Geneva Conventions‘ protections should be afforded to “enemy combatants” and even whether a detainee can be so classified without a hearing. Should due process of law be required for suspected terrorists?

Prisoners of war (lawful combatants) are entitled to the protections set forth in the 1949 Geneva Convention. In contrast, an unlawful combatant does not qualify for the Convention’s protections. In today’s world, can we know the difference?

We are left to answer questions that cannot easily be answered.

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