Oral Argument Audio in Hamad and Al-Nashiri Civil Cases

By Wells Bennett
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 10:04 AM

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit heard argument in Hamad v. Gates and Al-Nashiri v. MacDonald, two civil cases involving Guantanamo.  You can find audio recordings of the arguments here and here, respectively.

By way of overview, Hamad is a damages action brought by a former detainee against government individuals in their individual capacities, and alleging procedural flaws during Hamad's Combatant Status Review Tribunal and his torture at the hands of U.S. personnel.  In Al-Nashiri, the plaintiff sued the military commissions' Convening Authority.  He sought, among other things, a declaratory judgment that MacDonald---who has since left his post as Convening Authority---violated the law in approving commission charges against Al-Nashiri.  Al-Nashiri says that his alleged actions did not did not occur in the context of and associated with a conflict controlled by the laws of war, as they had to under the Military Commissions Act.  Thus, by allowing Al-Nashiri's war crimes trial to go forward, the Convening Authority exceeded his powers.

District courts dismissed both cases, and the plaintiffs appealed.