Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guantanamo Commander Proposes Restrictions on Attorney Client Communications

The Associated Press reported today that the Commander at Guantanamo Bay, Navy rear Admiral David Woods, recently gave a draft order to the detainees' lawyers setting forth new rules for attorney client communications. Pursuant to the draft order, a "privilege team" consisting of federal law enforcement officials would conduct a security review of all communications from the lawyers to their detainee clients before the clients would receive any communications. The detainees' lawyers have reportedly objected to this new rule because they say it is unnecessary since they already have security clearances and the practice would violate the attorney-client privilege. The detainees' lawyers have a very good argument that this proposed rule violates several legal principles.

The proposed order has not yet been finalized and signed. Because it is still in draft form, the order has not been released so it is not clear what other new rules it contains. One hopes that the Commander will re-think the proposed rules before they are finalized.


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