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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jason Mayerfeld
LSJ 491
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Rights

Focused, comparative examination of topics in rights.

Class description

"Guantanamo and Its Legacy." This course covers the history of the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay, and addresses the central legal, moral, and political controversies surrounding its operation. Among the questions addressed: Who has been detained in Guantanamo Bay, and why? What explains the history of torture and abuse? To what rights are Guantanamo detainees entitled, legally and morally? Is their detention justified, and if so on what grounds? What domestic and international laws should apply to the detention center? Can US practices in Guantanamo be related to US criminal justice policy? Should there be accountability for torture and other abuses by US officials, and if so, what form should it take? Is preventive detention of terrorist suspects ever legitimate? How should we evaluate the use of military commissions for terrorist suspects? How should we evaluate the use of targeted killings and drone warfare? Assigned readings include prison memoirs, Supreme Court opinions, journalistic reports, policy essays, and scholarly analyses.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

lecture and discussion

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

two essays, a case study, and seminar participation

first essay 25%, second essay 25%, case study 25%, seminar participation 25%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jason Mayerfeld
Date: 03/14/2013