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Biography Michael Ratner

Michael Ratner is President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit human rights litigation organization deeply involved in defending civil liberties in the United States, post 9/11. Most recently, the Center for Constitutional Rights published Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush and filed a case against the President and NSA for warrantless wiretapping. He was co-counsel in representing the Guantanamo detainees in the Supreme Court where a major victory was won in June 2004. He and his office have sued two of the private contractors in Iraq alleging their employees were involved in the abuses and torture at Abu Gharib. In 2005 he filed a criminal complaint in the courts of Germany against Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials seeking the initiation of criminal prosecutions against them for the Abu Ghraib abuse and torture. Other related cases include a challenge to the Patriot Act and a lawsuit on behalf of post 9/11 immigration detainees in the U.S. and representation of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, sent, or rendered, to Syria where he was tortured.

In the past he acted as a principal counsel in the successful suit to close the camp for HIV-positive Haitian refugees on Guantanamo Base, Cuba and has litigated numerous cases opposing U.S. initiated wars from Central America to Iraq.

He has written extensively on the Patriot Act, military tribunals and civil liberties in the Post 9/11 world. He has also been involved in opposing the Iraq war and co-authored the book, Against War with Iraq. His most recent book is Guantanamo: What the World Should Know.

Other work include: Adjunct Professor at The Columbia Law School, where he teaches international human rights litigation, and Lecturer at Yale Law School; former President of the National Lawyers Guild; Special Counsel to Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to assist in the prosecution of human rights crimes; Author and co-author of several legal texts and numerous articles including: Stephens & Ratner, International Human Rights Litigation in U.S. Courts (Transnational Publishers, Inc., 1996; Brody and Ratner, The Pinochet Papers (Kluwer 2000); Lobel and Ratner, Bypassing the Security Council: Ambiguous Authorizations to Use Force, Cease Fires, and the Iraqi Inspection Regime, 93 AJIL124 (January 1999)

Among his many honors are: Trial Lawyer of the Year from the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice; Columbia Law School Medal of Honor; Honorary Fellow University of Pennsylvania Law School; ABA John Minor Wisdom Public Service & Professionalism Award. He is on various boards including The Culture Project and The Brandeis Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

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