Jenner & Block

Jenner & Block Aids Defense Team for Guantanamo Detainee David Hicks

A Jenner & Block team is helping the lawyers who are defending David Hicks to challenge the legality of the U.S. military commission trying the Australian citizen for war crimes.  Mr. Hicks has been held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison since he was seized in Afghanistan in 2001.  He plead innocent to all charges at an August military court proceeding.

As recently reported in Legal Times, the Jenner & Block team, led by Partners Marc A. Goldman and Andrew A. Jacobson, filed an amended habeas petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that challenges the military proceeding against Mr. Hicks, set to begin in January, as “lawless” and inconsistent with established international, U.S. or military law.  The petition explains that the government has purported to charge Mr. Hicks with never before recognized offenses under the international law of war, and that the commission is inherently biased because the Executive that is prosecuting Mr. Hicks also appoints commission members and serves as the final source of “appellate” review.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions this summer in Rasul v. Bush and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, which ruled that the detainees at Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detentions in a court of law.  Jenner & Block was also active in both of those cases, filing an amicus brief on behalf of several prominent retired judges in Rasul, and filing an amicus brief on behalf of the American Bar Association in Hamdi.

Mr. Hicks is one of four detainees being tried in the first U.S. military commissions since the end of World War II.

Rounding out the Firm’s team on this pro bono matter are Partner Michael B. DeSanctis, and Associates Andrew W. Vail, Hillary A. Victor and David E. Walters.

Please click here to view the Second Amended Petition For Writ Of Habeas Corpus and Complaint For Injunctive, Declaratory and Other Relief.