Magna Carta, the Interstices of Procedure, and Guantanamo

Lawrence May

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper is inspired by two events, seven hundred and eighty-eight years apart. The first is the signing of Magna Carta in 1215 and the second is the establishment of U.S. prisons at Guantánamo and Bagram in 2003. It may seem odd to link these two events, but I do not think it is odd at all. Magna Carta established that any person is entitled to due process of law. Guantánamo and Bagram stand for the idea that certain prisoners can be denied due process if they fall through the cracks in the various extant legal regimes. Magna Carta was an agreement extracted from King John of England by feudal barons. We need an international agreement that protects Magna Carta legacy rights so that detainees will not fall through the cracks and be deprived of their procedural rights as they were at Guantánamo.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-113
    Number of pages23
    JournalCase Western Reserve Journal of International Law
    Issue number1/2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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