Terror suspects detention at Guantanamo Bay condemned by legal leaders

The heads of 28 international bar associations and law societies have joined together to condemn the continued detention of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

In an open letter, signed at the annual general meeting of the American Bar Association this week, the leaders call upon the US to abandon the “review panels” currently being held at Guantanamo.

The letter welcomes the recent decision of the US Supreme Court to allow detainees the right to a hearing in US courts, and concludes: “The war on terrorism will not and cannot be won by denying those suspected of terrorism the fundamental right of a fair opportunity to test the evidence against them.”

Signatories to the letter include Law Society president Edward Nally, Bar Council chairman Stephen Irwin QC, and Hans-Jürgen Hellwig, president of the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Union (CCBE). Representatives from other European countries, the Caribbean, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia also signed. However there is no signatory from the American Bar Association, despite the letter being penned at the association’s meeting in Atlanta.