HILAC Lecture on Detention in armed conflict and the significance of the Serdar Mohammed case

14 - 14 October 2015
  • Starts at: 19:00h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: Humanity House
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut, Amsterdam Center for International Law and Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis
  • Address: Prinsegracht 8
    2512 GA The Hague
  • Email: conferencemanager@asser.nl

As the face of war changes in the 21st century, public officials, courts, and nongovernment organisations are struggling to adapt by creating new rules governing detention. In an important recent decision, the U.K. Court of Appeal ruled in Serdar Mohammed v. Ministry of Defense that British armed forces participating in the International Security Assistance Force lacked legal authority under international law to detain suspected forces in Afghanistan. The decision resists the importation of principles developed in international armed conflicts traditionally waged by states to the types of non-international armed conflicts being fought today, while placing greater emphasis on international human rights law. This lecture will discuss the Mohammed decision and its significance for the continuing debate over detention in armed conflict and the relationship between international humanitarian and human rights law.

Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Hafetz

Jonathan Hafetz joined Seton Hall Law School as an Associate Professor in 2010. Professor Hafetz is the author of Habeas Corpus after 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System (NYU Press 2011), which received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, Honorable Mention, and the American Society of Legal Writers, Scribes Silver Medal Award. He is the co-editor (with Mark Denbeaux) of The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law (NYU Press 2009). Professor Hafetz’s scholarship has appeared in many publications, including the Yale Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Wisconsin Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, International Journal of Human Rights, and Cambridge Journal of Comparative & International Law, and has been cited by numerous courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Professor Hafetz is also an internationally recognized constitutional and human rights lawyer. Prior to joining Seton Hall, he litigated numerous high-profile cases as a senior attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, a litigation director at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, and a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons, P.C. Representative cases include Al-Marri v. Spagone, 555 U.S. 1220 (2009), Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674 (2008), Rasul v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 466 (2004), Meshal v. Higgenbotham, (D.C. Cir. 2015), Salahi v. Obama, 625 F.3d 740 (D.C. Cir. 2010), and Jawad v. Obama (D.D.C. 2009). Mr. Hafetz has also authored or co-authored more than thirty amicus curiae briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals on a range of issues. 

Professor Hafetz earned his J.D. from Yale Law School. He holds an M. Phil in Modern History from Oxford University and a B.A. from Amherst College. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship from the U.S. Government for study in Mexico. Following law school, Professor Hafetz served as a law clerk to Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. From 2014-15, Professor Hafetz was a Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

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