Nottebohm's nightmare : have we exorcised the ghosts of WWII detention programs or do they still haunt Guantanamo ?
Cindy G. Buys
Host item entries:
Chicago-Kent journal of international and comparative law, Vol. 11, 2011, p. 1-77
This article begins by telling the story of Mr. Frederich Nottebohm, a German-born businessman from Guatemala, and how he and his extended family came to be caught up in the U.S.-Latin American Detention Program. It relates the motivations behind the creation of the program and analyses the legality of the program under both United States and international law existing at the time. The article then examines the extent to which the law has evolved and whether the changes in the law would lead to a different result today. The article then draws parallels between the arrest, detention and trial of alleged "alien enemies" during World War II and those practices being employed today with respect to alleged "unlawful enemy combatants" in the current fight against terrorism. Finally, the article suggests some lessons that may be learned regarding the treatment of so-called "alien enemies" during times of conflict that have relevance for current U.S. policies regarding the arrest, detention and trial of suspected foreign terrorists.