Supreme Court judgement for Boumediene v. Bush relating to detention at Guantánamo Bay

Description

Magna Carta is still invoked in law courts around the world, often as a rhetorical flourish, but sometimes to greater effect. The enduring American relevance of Magna Carta is demonstrated in this judgment by the Supreme Court of the United States concerning the detention without charge of Lakhdar Boumediene at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Reviewing the case in 2008, the Supreme Court justices made explicit mention of Magna Carta when tracing the history of habeas corpus, to rule that Guantánamo Bay detainees had an absolute right to petition for that writ despite Congress legislating to the contrary. In the majority opinion of the Supreme Court justices, the writ of habeas corpus was ‘the means by which the promise of Magna Carta was fulfilled’ and should be upheld. Following this judgment, Boumediene was released in May 2009 after seven years in detention.

Full title:
Supreme Court judgement for Lakhdar Boumediene et al. v George W. Bush, President of the United States et al., relating to detention at Guantánamo Bay (2007–08)
Published:
2007 - 08
Format:
Report
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
United States Supreme Court Reports, October Term, 2007 (BL Department of History & Classics)

Related articles

Modern America and Magna Carta

Article by:
Matthew Shaw
Theme:
Legacy

Curator Dr Matthew Shaw explores the role of Magna Carta in the politics and popular culture of modern America. From The Simpsons and Jay-Z to the American law courts and the ‘War on Terror’, discover the significance of Magna Carta in the USA today.

Magna Carta in the modern age

Article by:
Joshua Rozenberg
Theme:
Magna Carta today

Today Magna Carta has become a world-class brand, representing human rights, democracy and free speech – despite the fact that the original document makes no mention of these principles. Joshua Rozenberg explains Magna Carta’s place in modern legal and popular culture, and reveals the importance of its 800-year-old symbolism.

Related collection items