April 23, 2007 10:38 Age: 7 yrs

Lieutenant Commander Swift Addresses Audience at Emory Law

Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Charles Swift spoke to a group of Emory students and faculty earlier this month at Emory Law regarding his experiences with the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions. LCDR Swift is most famous for having represented the former driver for Osama bin Laden, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who was captured during the invasion of Afghanistan and charged in July 2004 with conspiracy to commit terrorism. This historic case took LCDR Swift to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the military commission to try Hamdan was illegal and violated the Geneva Conventions as well as the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice.

In his presentation, “To Preserve and Protect the Constitution in the War on Terror: A Military Defense Lawyer’s Perspective,” LCDR Swift explained the role of military commissions – basically, the common law court of the military – and the importance of preserving the rule of law during wartime.

LCDR Swift describes the law as a “two-way street” – particularly in relation to his role as defense council for Hamdan. In his presentation, Swift indicated that the same law that could hold his client accountable, should also provide him the benefits of protection.

LCDR Swift’s dedication to preserving the law amidst the War on Terror has been recognized with the Medal of Liberty, presented by the American Civil Liberties Union. He also was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal. Please click here to see LCDR Swift's speech in its entirety.

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