Defense Clinic

Guantanamo Defense Clinic

Since 2005, Duke’s Guantanamo Defense Clinic has played a key role in framing legal challenges to Guantanamo military commission proceedings.  Supervised by Professor Madeline Morris and Lecturing Fellow Gabriela McQuade ’10, students work with military and civilian defense counsel to formulate theories, develop research, and draft pleadings and arguments for use at all levels of Guantanamo litigation, from pre-trial motions to Supreme Court litigation.  Students also have participated in the legislative arena, working on both the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and forward-looking counterterrorism law and policy.  Through these endeavors, the Clinic has amassed a singular institutional memory for the Guantanamo military commission proceedings and associated legislative and executive activity.

See clinic requirements


It meant a lot to hear from the lawyers that, ‘We’ve read that memo 40 times and never picked out that line.’ It shows how many legal discoveries really can be that basic and how well prepared we can be already, as students, to help out.”

Dennis Schmelzer JD/LLM ’09 developed an original theory based on an Army regulation pertaining to combatant status determinations during his time in the Guantanamo Defense Clinic; his theory was incorporated into the brief for the petitioner in Boumediene v. Bush before the U.S. Supreme Court



Contact Us

Guantanamo Defense Clinic
Duke Law School
Box 90360
Durham, North Carolina 27708-0360
Phone: (919) 613-7049
Fax: (919) 613-7231

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