JEAIL > Volume 7(1); 2014 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2014

Human Rights of Guantánamo Detainees under International and US Law: Revisiting the US Supreme Court Cases

Patricia Goedde
Sungkyunkwan University School of Law, Korea
25-2, Sungkyunkwan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-745 Korea.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article reviews the US Supreme Court cases regarding detention of alleged terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and examines the interplay between international human rights law and the American Constitution with respect to the executive policies of the Bush Administration to detain terror suspects. The article first references the international human rights legal framework regarding detainees, specifically the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and then analyzes seminal cases brought before the Supreme Court by detainees, specifically how the Supreme Court interprets the US Constitution and international law in reaching its decisions regarding detainees at Guantanamo. While the Supreme Court provided detainees the right to challenge the legality of their detentions through habeas corpus petitions, limitations still exist as to the lack of extraterritorial application of rights protections as well as the domestic judicial failure to redress detainees' subjection to torture and other abusive treatment.

Keywords : Guantánomo, Detainees, Habeas Corpus, US Supreme Court, Common Article 3, Geneva Conventions, US Constitution

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