|Michael D. Mori|
October 4, 1965|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1983-2012|
|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.
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.
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.
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."
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. 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."
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.
Mori was presented, in June 2007, with an honorary membership of the Australian Bar Association for his defence of David Hicks. 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".
In September 2010, Mori took the Navy to court, alleging that his 2009 promotion was delayed due to bias by the selection board. In July 2012, it was reported that Mori had moved to Melbourne to practice with the law firm Shine. Mori's retirement from the Marine Corps became effective in October 2012.
In the Company of Cowards, a book by Mori detailing his experience defending Hicks, was published by Penguin Australia in September 2014.
- Hicks' lawyer concerned over Guantanamo interrogation, mirrored Australian Broadcasting Corporation, May 10, 2004
- American Civil Liberties Union (2005). Military Lawyers Honored for Challenging Guantánamo Policies. Retrieved August 13, 2006.
- Australia: Thousands hear US military lawyer for David Hicks World Socialist Web Site, September 5, 2006
- A-Gs demand immediate action on Hicks trial Australian Broadcasting Corporation, November 10, 2006
- http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1669162/Guantanamo-lawyer-Mori-moves-to-Australia Mori reassigned to 'Top Gun' Marine base. 22/05/2007. ABC News Online
- "Mori honored for 'fearless' Hicks defence". ABC News. 2007-06-20.
- "Major Michael Mori humbly accepts justice award in Hobart". ABC News. 2007-10-12.
- Promotion for Hicks' US military lawyer -
- "Lawyer: Defending detainee slowed promotion". Marine Corps Times. 2010-09-20.
- "Guantanamo lawyer Mori moves to Australia". News.com.au. 2012-07-16.
- "US lawyer for David Hicks takes a Shine to Melbourne". The Age. 2012-07-16.
- "In the Company of Cowards". Penguin Books Australia. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Bulletin article May 26, 2007
- Biography from the Australian National University
- Marine Defends Guantánamo Detainee, and Surprises Australians, New York Times
- US major attacks Guantánamo justice, The Guardian
- ACLU biography
- Major Michael Mori, ninemsn, February 15, 2004
- US Federal Court judge rules Guantanamo Military Commissions unconstitutional, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, February 1, 2005
- Interview: Major Michael Mori, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, August 14, 2006.
- Australia: Thousands hear US military lawyer for David Hicks, World Socialist Web Site, September 5, 2006.