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NACDL News: New Attack on Counsel at GTMO
By Jack King
NACDL News columns.
In yet another attack on attorney-client relationships at Guantánamo Bay, the Justice Department now takes the position that Guantánamo detainees whose habeas corpus cases have been terminated no longer have the right of access to their lawyers and vice versa. Under a new “Memorandum of Understanding,” attorney-client visits and communications are permitted at the sole discretion of the Commander, Joint Task Force-Guantánamo. Attorneys who do not sign the memo will be barred from seeing or communicating with their clients. In re Guantánamo Bay Detainee Continued Access to Counsel, D.D.C., Misc. No. 12-0398.
Under the MOU, the military would decide whether a lawyer and his client could meet and would control access to all past and future communications (including the attorney’s own work product on previous cases). Under the conditions of the MOU, any disputes would be subject to “the final and unreviewable discretion” of the task force commander.
The detainees’ motions challe
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