Brooklyn Journal of International Law


Molly Turro

First Page



The majority of the remaining detainees at Guantánamo Bay have been cleared for transfer to other countries. Provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that prohibit government funds to be used for transfer and reinforce the United States government’s authority to detain enemy combatants until the end of active hostilities have left these detainees waiting in limbo to be transferred elsewhere. The following piece argues that the resulting indefinite detention that these Guantánamo detainees face is both a violation of international human rights and an unnecessary financial burden on the US government. This Note compares the approach taken by the US Supreme Court and federal district court with the approach taken by the United Kingdom House of Lords in the famous Belmarsh Case, finding that the UK’s approach and the measures put in place after Belmarsh, better preserved human rights. It argues that, in order for the US to comply with its obligations under international human rights law, Congress must create a private right of action under international human rights treaties, the Supreme Court must declare that active hostilities ended with the war in Afghanistan, and the Biden administration must create an executive office dedicated to transferring the approved detainees.