Journal Article

Why Article 5 Status Determinations are not ‘Required’ at Guantánamo

John C. Dehn

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 6, issue 2, pages 371-383
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Why Article 5 Status Determinations are not ‘Required’ at Guantánamo

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On 17 December 2007 the Military Commission convened to try Salim Ahmed Hamdan ruled that, as part of Hamdan's challenge to its jurisdiction, Article 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (GPW) required the Commission to entertain Hamdan's claims of entitlement to prisoner of war status. The Commission rejected those claims and found Hamdan to be an unlawful combatant subject to its jurisdiction two days later. The author concludes that the Commission's decision to grant an Article 5 status determination was consistent with international humanitarian law. He further argues, however, that the Commission's decisions to conduct the status determination and to consider all-claimed prisoner of war categories under the GPW were inconsistent with the Military Commission Act, specifically its definition of lawful and unlawful combatants and, hence, inconsistent with the US national law governing the Commission.

Journal Article.  6185 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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