University of Miami National Security & Armed Conflict Law Review


John Wright

Document Type



The contention between habeas corpus rights and national security interests has been ongoing since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. History proves that this relationship becomes especially precarious during times of conflict, from the U.S. Civil War and continuing through the War on Terrorism, which began in 2001.

This paper focuses on one of the most recent limitations placed on the right of habeas corpus as determined by the federal judiciary: that a writ of habeas corpus will not stay the transfer of a U.S. citizen to a foreign sovereign’’s authorities to face charges for alleged crimes committed within that sovereign. The author looks at how this restraint fits within the greater historical framework of the right of habeas corpus, as well as its recent evolution during the War on Terrorism. Lastly, it is determined whether or not the individual challenging the transfer has any further options regarding the appeal of his writ.