Source: BLT – TheBlogofLegalTimes

A federal judge in Washington, in a strong rebuke today against the government, refused to change the rules that have long governed communication and meetings between Guantanamo Bay detainees and their lawyers.

Chief Judge Royce Lamberth ruled against an attempt by the U.S. Justice Department to put more control in the hands of the Defense Department over counsel-access issues in certain cases. DOJ lawyers argued the changes should apply to detainees and their lawyers who are no longer actively litigating a detention challenge. Lamberth’s decision ishere.

Lawyers for detainees assailed any change to the rules that controlled their access to the base and to their clients. Lamberth today sided with the detainees’ counsel, calling the government’s effort to modify existing rules an “illegitimate exercise of Executive power.” A protective order, the judge said, has been in place for four years without any notice from the government that an attorney has violated the rules.

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