The Guantánamo Observers Program is a joint program between the Human Rights Institute and the Center on National Security. Since 2014, the Human Rights Institute has partnered with the Center to send law students as official observers to the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Students leave from Andrews Air Force Base and stay in Guantánamo Bay Naval Station for one week. Students are selected from a pool of applicants, and the pool opens each year in September. The opportunity is open to 2Ls, 3Ls, and LL.M. students. Students interested in participating as an observer should reach out to Professor Todd Huntley with the Center on National Security.
In 2023, HRI Deputy Director Michelle Liu traveled to Guantánamo to observe the proceedings. “Observing the hearings in person afforded me the opportunity to better understand some of the human rights allegations that have plagued the facility since its inception,” said Michelle Liu. “The experiences of observing the hearings during the week, talking to defense counsel and media, and seeing Camp X-Ray in person—albeit from afar—were incredibly eye-opening and compelling.”