Sunday, February 8, 2009

Justice for Guantanamo Detainees and their Victims

Professor David Luban (Georgetown University Law Center) addressed a conference on the American legal profession sponsored by Stanford University in March of 2008. His expanded views were published under the title “Lawfare and Legal Ethics in Guantánamo” in the Stanford Law Review.

David Luban
From this reading, it is clear that David Luban’s sympathies lie with the defense counsel, who in his thinking are the only legal practitioners seeking justice for the accused terrorists. He does not credit the government counsel equally, though these are seeking justice also, but a justice that includes the victims.

Luban identifies the defense counsel as standing heroically against the all-powerful state, the “Leviathan” of Thomas Hobbes’ conception. But does Luban’s Leviathan view actually stand up before the facts?

Not really. The government dedicated twenty-nine attorneys to the defense of detainees at Guantánamo. With just twenty detainees charged with crimes, this resulted in the government supplying 1.45 defense attorneys per detainee facing a military commission.

Read a full response to Luban’s criticism of US Military Justice in the war on terror here.

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