Authorization of Use of Military Force Act (2001)
Law enacted on September 17, 2001, six days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which provides "that the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons."
An individual detained by and in the custody of another.
Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) (2005)
Law enacted on December 30, 2005 which, among other things, states that: "no court . . . shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider . . . an application for habeas corpus filed by . . . an alien detained . . . at Guantanamo Bay." The legislation does not include a retroactivity clause, raising the question whether its provisions apply only to habeas corpus petitions filed after the law was enacted. The DTA also gives the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sole authority to review the final sentence of any Guantanamo Bay detainee tried by a military commission.
Department of Defense Military Commission Order No. 1 (2002)
Order signed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on March 21, 2002, detailing the procedures to be used for trying the Guantanamo Bay detainees.
"Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism" Order (2001)
Order signed by President Bush on November 13, 2001, outlining the basic procedures to be used for trying Guantanamo Bay detainees.
As defined in the July 7, 2004, memorandum from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz entitled "Order Establishing Combatant Status Review Tribunal," which Justice Stevens quoted in the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision, the term refers to "an individual who was part of or supporting Taliban or al Qaeda forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners."
Geneva Conventions (1949)
"Four international agreements dealing with the protection of wounded members of the armed forces, the treatment of prisoners of war, and the protection of civilians during international conflicts. Common Article 3 of the Conventions proclaims certain minimum standards of treatment that are applicable to noninternational armed conflicts. The humanitarian-law protection established in these four agreements was amplified in 1977 by the two Protocols Additional to the Geneva Convention." (Black's Law Dictionary: Eighth Ed.).
Latin for "You have the body." A prisoner files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in order to challenge the authority of the prison or jail warden to continue to hold him. If the judge orders a hearing after reading the writ, the prisoner gets to argue that his confinement is illegal. These writs are frequently filed by convicted prisoners who challenge their conviction on the grounds that the trial attorney failed to prepare the defense and was incompetent. Prisoners sentenced to death also file habeas petitions challenging the constitutionality of the state death penalty law. Habeas writs are different from and do not replace appeals, which are arguments for reversal of a conviction based on claims that the judge conducted the trial improperly. Often, convicted prisoners file both. (Source: nolo.com)
"A court, usually composed of both civilians and military officers, that is modeled after a court-martial and that tries and decides cases concerning martial-law violations" (Black's Law Dictionary: Eighth Ed.). The procedures established for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay required that all members be military personnel and authorized the commissions to try the detainees for alleged terrorism-related acts and other war crimes.
Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
Substantive and procedural military laws applicable to personnel working for or with the U.S. armed forces, "prisoners of war in custody of the armed forces," and "persons in custody of the armed forces serving a sentence imposed by a court-martial."