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News Posted on December 10, 2008

Professor Amann Observes Guantánamo Detainee Hearings

Professor Diane Marie Amann, an expert in law and terrorism, traveled to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, last week to observe pretrial hearings in the case against five detainees charged in connection with the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.  Among the defendants is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged to have masterminded the attacks, and who is alleged to have been "water boarded" during interrogation at secret sites maintained by the CIA.

Issues litigated at the hearing include the admissibility at trial of confessions obtained under coercion, whether certain defendants are competent to stand trial, and the adequacy of translation services provided defendants.

Professor Amann observed the proceedings as a representative of the National Institute of Military Justice, a Washington, D.C.-based nongovernmental organization founded by former military lawyers.  A member of NIMJ's Board of Advisors, Professor Amann was the principal co-author of the organization's amicus brief in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the 2006 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the military commission's plan initially implemented by President George W. Bush.  Later that year, Congress reinstated a version of the plan by passing the Military Commissions Act.

Issues related to post-9/11 detention, interrogation, and prosecution are a focus of Professor Amann's scholarship, with articles published in Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Columbia Journal of Transnational Law.

National Institute of Military Justice