Michael Mori

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Michael D. Mori
Nickname(s) Dan
Born (1965-10-04)October 4, 1965
Beverly, Massachusetts
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1983-2012
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Awards Navy Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal

Michael Dante Mori (born 1965) is a lawyer who attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps. Mori was the military lawyer for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks.[1]

Early life[edit]

Mori was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, October 4, 1965.

He spent four years in the enlisted ranks, reporting for basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in December 1983. He served as a repair and calibration technician of electronic test equipment as an enlisted Marine. After graduating in 1991 from Norwich University, a military college located in Northfield, Vermont, he became an officer in the Marine Corps. In 1994 he graduated from the Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts, before being admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts.

Hicks case[edit]

Mori was appointed by the United States Department of Defense to represent David Hicks in November 2003. He handled Hicks' case through to its conclusion. He was featured on numerous occasions in the Australian media in relation to developments in Hicks' case.[1]

Mori was one of the 2005 recipients of the American Civil Liberties Union's Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award, which was presented "to the five military defense lawyers who represented the first round of defendants at the Guantánamo Bay tribunals and challenged the entire military commission system."[2]

In August 2006, Mori engaged in a lecture tour in Australia on behalf of David Hicks, where he charged the Bush Administration with creating an illegal military tribunal system that violated Hicks' rights.[3] Major Mori also attended a rally in Adelaide in support of Hicks and led a march to the office of Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

On November 10, 2006, Mori attended the signing of the Fremantle Declaration by the attorneys-general of the states and territories of Australia. The federal attorney general, Philip Ruddock, refused to attend. The declaration urges judicial fairness be applied in Hicks' case to protect the legal rights of Australians at home and abroad. Mori said "It's disheartening that federal ministers won't fight for an Australian citizen to have the same rights as an American."[4]

Following Hicks' departure from Guantanamo Bay to complete his sentence in Yatala Prison, South Australia - on or about May 20, 2007 - Mori was reassigned as a staff judge advocate, or legal adviser, to the commanders of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. He has thrice been passed over for promotion since taking on the Hicks case.[5]

Mori was presented, in June 2007, with an honorary membership of the Australian Bar Association for his defence of David Hicks.[6] In October 2007, he was awarded a civil justice award from the Australian Lawyers Alliance as "recognition by the legal profession of unsung heroes who, despite personal risk or sacrifice, have fought to preserve individual rights, human dignity or safety".[7]

In June 2009, he was promoted to a lieutenant colonel and made a senior military judge.[8]

In September 2010, Mori took the Navy to court, alleging that his 2009 promotion was delayed due to bias by the selection board.[9] In July 2012, it was reported that Mori had moved to Melbourne to practice with the law firm Shine.[10] Mori's retirement from the Marine Corps became effective in October 2012.[11]

In the Company of Cowards, a book by Mori detailing his experience defending Hicks, was published by Penguin Australia in September 2014.[12]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]