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Amicus curiae herein argue the present petition for a writ of certiorari should be granted as it rightly questions the very legitimacy of the military commission used to try Petitioner based on a theory of equality. International and comparative law further bolster Petitioner’s argument that the Military Commissions Act’s establishment of a segregated criminal justice system in which only non-citizens are subject to military commission jurisdiction violates the equal rights of Petitioner and all non-citizens subject to its jurisdiction.

Equality is a central principle undergirding human rights law that pre-dates the founding of the United Nations and the drafting of the UN Charter, and is the only right specifically identified in the UN Charter; it serves as the foundational standard for the realization of all human rights. Jarlath Clifford, Equality, in The Oxford Handbook of International 3 Human Rights Law, 420, 430-431 (Dinah Shelton ed., 2013). As one leading international human rights law scholar has noted:

"Equality and non-discrimination are implied in the fact that human rights instruments guarantee rights to “all persons”, “everyone”, or “every human being.” In fact, the right to be free from discrimination has been called “the most fundamental of the rights of man . . . the starting point of all other liberties.”

Dinah Shelton, Prohibited Discrimination in International Human Rights Law, in The Diversity of International Law: Essays in Honour of Professor Kalliopi K. Koufa (Aristotle Constantinides & Nikos Zaikos eds., 2009).

As set forth below, the right to equality and nondiscrimination is a customary norm of international law that extends to non-citizens. The creation of a separate legal system for the detention, prosecution, and sentencing for non-citizens exclusively discriminates against non-citizens in violation of said norm of customary international law.


human rights, equlity, military commisions act, criminal justice, united nations

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Supreme Court Brief