Israeli law experts challenge U.S. law


A group of Israeli human rights law experts filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case on detainees’ rights.

“In an interdependent world threatened by transnational terrorism and linked by converging rule-of-law norms, all peoples are affected by the process the United States affords to foreign nationals who fall under its control,” begins the brief filed by law experts at the University of Haifa, Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University. “As much as any other nation, Israel has a vital stake in assuring that the United States pursues its struggle against terrorism successfully within the bounds of the law.”

The brief, filed by the Aug. 24 deadline , argues that Israel’s experience has shown that habeas corpus – the right of any detainee to judicial review – need not be sacrificed in terrorism cases.

“For more than fifty years, Israel has faced mortal threats to its national survival and countless acts of terrorism against its civilian population, with devastating losses of life,” the brief argues. “Yet even as terrorist attacks have intensified, Israel has strengthened its commitment to unimpeded judicial review of detention.”

The court agreed in June to hear a challenge to a recent federal law that strips federal courts of jurisdiction in habeas corpus cases filed by foreign nationals. President Bush pushed through the law after a court decision challenged such detentions.

The Anti-Defamation League joined other human rights and religious groups in another friend-of-the-court brief challenging the law. The court is expected to consider the case when it reconvenes in October.

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