Civil Liberties Essay

2134 words - 9 pages

After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, President Bush and Congress reacted quickly and within one week of the attacks had adopted a joint resolution that gave the President the authority to use military force against any group or individual that was deemed to have any association with the al Qaeda terrorist network; specifically, any group or individual across the globe who was suspected of helping to aid in the planning of the attacks on the United States was now subject to the policing of the United States government (Jackson, 2010).
This resolution and vow by President Bush and Congress to take on the war against terrorism resulted in massive military, law ...view middle of the document...

S.' constitutions legal framework, however, the primary provisions that are applicable to U.S. law are found in Article 9(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ("the covenant"). This covenant was a byproduct of the United Nations Human Rights Commissions efforts in 1946 to work on creating an International Bill of Rights. Article 9(4) of the covenant essentially states that anyone who is arrested is entitled to take their case before a court who then will determine the lawfulness of the arrest is valid or not and demand the prisoners release if the detention is found to be unlawful. This covenant was entered into force in the United States in 1976 (Primus, 2010).
Additionally, Article XXV of the American Declaration provides the law that states all habeas corpus proceedings have to occur before a valid court (Primus, 2010). Article XXV goes on to detail that U.S. citizens have habeas corpus rights that state all proceedings have to meet procedural fairness. Basically, this gives individuals the guaranteed right of being able to present evidence to try and help support their argument against detention. This article also guarantees that citizens are guaranteed fair legal representation in front of the courts should they choose it as a part of their habeas rights (Primus, 2010).
From a Civil Rights standpoint, habeas corpus guarantees citizens that are detained a right to a speedy review of their detention by a court (typically within 10 days), along with fair treatment without fear of bodily harm or other degrading acts being done against them (Primus, 2010).
The historical evolution of habeas corpus, including its English and American traditions:
Originating in early English common law, habeas corpus is based on the Latin term that means "you have the body". Habeas corpus can be traced back to references of use by Sir William Blackstone, the primary founder of the English legal system as a legal method used to keep the Kings powers in check in the case of English citizens detainment, habeas corpus was used to guarantee the incarceration was legitimate (Farrell, 2009).
This use of habeas corpus as a legal protection for detained citizens was a guarantee that has been used by governments and declined by governments throughout different periods in history. For example, Hitler passed a law denying citizens their rights to habeas corpus during his assault on Jews in the early 20th century (Farrell, 2009). For Americans, habeas continued to evolve through the centuries into today's law for U.S. citizens and is cited in Article One, Section Nine, clause Two of the United States Constitution. Under this Article, the habeas corpus is guaranteed except for cases of "rebellion or invasion where public safety may require it" (Farrell, 2009).
Examples from U.S. history of the "suspension" of habeas corpus and their applicability to the present:
One of the best examples in U.S. history of habeas corpus being stopped was seen...

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