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90 Int'l Rev. Red Cross 573 (2008)
Human rights litigation and the war on terror

handle is hein.journals/intlrcs90 and id is 569 raw text is: 






















                                 Helen  Duffy*
                                 Helen Duffy is the Litigation Director of INTERIGHTS, the International Centre
                                 for the Legal Protection of Human Rights.

Abstract
The  'war  on terror' has led to grave human   rights violations and, in response, to a
growing  volume   of human rights litigation.   This article provides  an  overview  of
litigation that has unfolded  in recent years  in relation to issues such as arbitrary
detention,   torture  and   ill-treatment, extraordinary   rendition,  extraterritorial
application of human rights   norms  and  the creeping  reach of the 'terrorism' label.
These  cases provide a prism through which  are displayed key characteristics of the war
on terror as it affects human rights, and enables us to begin to ask questions regarding
the role of the courts and the impact of human  rights litigation in this area.



On   12 June  2008  the Supreme   Court  of  the United  States decided  that persons
detained  by the United  States in Guantlinamo  Bay  have the constitutional privilege
of habeas  corpus. The  recognition  that all detainees are entitled to this basic right,
irrespective of their nationality, their designation as 'enemy  combatants'   or their
offshore  location, has been  hailed  as a victory for the  rule of law. Jubilation  is
somewhat tempered by the fact that it took six years to decide that detainees are
entitled to a protection that would normally  guarantee  judicial access within hours,
days or maybe   weeks.


   An  early version of this paper was delivered as the Annual Public Lecture in International Law at the
   School of Law, London School of Economics, 11 October 2007. The author is very grateful to Silvia
   Borelli for research assistance and to Steven Watt, David Geer and Fabricio Guariglia for their helpful
   comments in the preparation of that speech. This article reflects the author's views only and not those of
   INTERIGHTS.


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