Shayana D. Kadidal

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Shayana (Shane) D. Kadidal, American Lawyer and Author, speaks at a benefit for Lawyer and activist, Lynne Stewart at Judson Memorial Church, Washington Square South, Manhattan, NY, US. Photo July 11, 2005.

Shayana D. Kadidal is an American lawyer and writer.[1][2] Kadidal has worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City since 2001, and is senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative there, coordinating legal representation for the captives held in extrajudicial detention in the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] Previously a writer on patent, drug and obscenity law, since 2001 he has played a role in various notable human rights cases, including:[3]

CCR v. Bush
Turkmen v. Ashcroft
Vulcan Society of Black Firefighters
Sikh Coalition

Guantanamo clients[edit]

Kadidal has worked on behalf of a number of the captives held in extrajudicial detention in the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[4][5][6][7] As Senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo project at the Center for Constitutional Rights, Kadidal has coordinated defense of Guantanamo detainees, spoken, written and been interviewed widely as an expert on the legal implications of these cases.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

On January 8, 2007 the Center for Constitutional Rights published a list of the Lead Petitioner's Counsel in Guantanamo Habeas Cases.[14] Kadidal was listed as the counsel for Murat Kurnaz and Moazzam Begg.

On July 18, 2008 Shayana D. Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a status report on Al Halmandy v. Bush No. 05-CV-2385 (RMU) on behalf of seven Guantanamo captives[4] Kadidal wrote that of the 63 captives initially listed in the petition, all but those seven had either been repatriated, or were named in other petitions.

Wilner v. NSA[edit]

Kadidal represents 23 attorneys for Guantanamo detainees who believe they had been subjected to a warrantless wiretap.[15][16] The 23 suspect they had been the target of surveillance because they volunteered to assist Guantanamo captives. They filed a Freedom of Information Act request, Wilner v. NSA, for the National Security Agency's records of their wiretaps. As part of the FOIA request Kadidal wrote:

"One of the striking things about this program is that it means opposing counsel – particularly the DOJ – may be listening in on our litigation strategy. The uncertainty created by the existence of the NSA program makes it far more difficult for lawyers to challenge in court all the other illegal behavior of this administration in the course of the so-called War on Terror. Today’s filing is an attempt to determine whether all the warning signs of government surveillance are real or just false alarms."

Other work[edit]

After graduating from Yale Law in 1994, Kadidal worked in a number of areas before becoming involved in civil liberties law. He wrote on plant patenting issues,[17] including on the role of Western corporations in patenting the products of the Neem tree.[18] He also published academic works on drug laws[19] and on the role of technology in United States Obscenity Law.[20]

Since he began work at the Center for Constitutional Rights in 2001 Kadidal has taken part in or led litigation in government detention, wiretapping, electoral, and job and religious discrimination cases. These include defending Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a New York journalist at New York's WBAI radio and stateless national detained indefinitely after the September 11 terrorist attacks;[21] bringing suit against the FDNY for discrimination on behalf of members of the African American firefighters group, the Vulcan Society, which was further expanded to include women and Hispanic firefighters;[22][23][24][25] litigating against the NSA for accused wiretapping of lawyers;[26] litigating a suit against the "Material Support" segments of the Patriot Act, specifically in its restriction of fundraising for medical clinics in parts of Sri Lanka occupied by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE);[27] litigating and organizing litigation of three 2005 cases against United States government travel restrictions to Cuba;[28] and arguing in a suit on behalf of a United States Sikh rights group alleging religious discrimination of employees by New York Transit Authority.[11] He was awarded the 2009 Access To Justice Award by the South Asian Bar Association of New York.[29]


Kadidal has written for a variety of publications, including The Guardian, The Jurist and Huffington Post.[30][31][32] He is the coauthor of the book Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush.


  1. ^ a b Bio, Center for Constitutional rights. Retrieved 2009-03-15
  2. ^ Shayana Kadidal (June 14, 2008). "John McCain, Legal Historian". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-19.  mirror
  3. ^ "Shayana Kadidal". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  4. ^ a b Shayana D. Kadidal (2008-08-18). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 92 -- status report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-08-22.  mirror
  5. ^ Shayana D. Kadidal (July 18, 2008). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 153 -- Status Report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-28. The above-captioned case was dismissed without prejudice on April 12, 2007, as a likely duplicate of petitioner Hamid Allah Mowlowi Saedara Saed Abd Al Razak, ISN 1119, who has a pending habeas corpus petition, 05-CV-1601.  mirror
  6. ^ Shayana D. Kadidal (2008-07-18). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 154 -- status report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-28. The above-captioned case was dismissed on October 2, 2006, as a redundant filing duplicative of the identical petition filed as 06-CV-1674. See Minute Entry Order (entered October 2, 2006) (noting “two copies of the same habeas petition” were filed). The Court need take no further action on this case.  mirror
  7. ^ Shayana Kadidal, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez. Pardiss Kebriaei (2008-08-09). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 369 -- Notice of rejoinder" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-29.  mirror
  8. ^ Q&A: Gitmo Lawyer Shayana Kadidal on SCOTUS Ruling. Mother Jones, June 13, 2008.
  9. ^ Guantanamo: Calling All Lawyers. Ari Shapiro, All Things Considered, July 10, 2008
  10. ^ Legal Aid Offer for Detainees Is Retracted. New York Times. WILLIAM GLABERSON. September 29, 2007
  11. ^ a b Indian lawyer scores one for Guantanamo detainees. Arthur J Pais. Redif Indians Abroad. July 08, 2008
  12. ^ Shayana Kadidal: «El reto es dónde enviar a los presos que temen por su vida» El abogado jefe del proyecto Guantánamo confía en los europeos. NOELIA SASTRE, ABC (newspaper) (Madrid). 26 January 2009.
  13. ^ "Die Europäer sollen Obama helfen". Interview with Shayana Kadidal: Katja Riedel, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich). 20.01.2009
  14. ^ "Lead Petitioners' Counsel in Guantanamo Habeas Cases" (PDF). Center for Constitutional Rights. January 8, 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-11.  mirror
  15. ^ "Wilner v. National Security Agency". Center for Constitutional Rights. Archived from the original on March 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  16. ^ "Government Refuses to Admit or Deny Targeting the Lawyers". Butler Rubin. Retrieved 2009-03-15. [dead link]
  17. ^ Shayana Kadidal, "Plants, Poverty, and Pharmaceutical Patents", (1993) Yale Law Journal 103 (177): 223-58.
  18. ^ SHAYANA Kadidal. United States patent prior art rules and the neem controversy: a case of subject-matter imperialism? Biodiversity and Conservation. Issue Volume 7, Number 1 / January, 1997. Springer Netherlands. pp. 1572-9710.
  19. ^ Shayana Kadidal. Digestion as Infringement: The Problem of Pro-Drugs. Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, 78, 241, (1996)
  20. ^ Kadidal, S. "Obscenity in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," American journal of comparative law : vol. 44; no. 2., p. 353-385. (1996)
  21. ^ Stateless, Man Avoids Deportation From U.S.. JANON FISHER, New York Times. Wednesday, April 14, 2004
  22. ^ Justice Dept. Sues New York City, Calling Firefighter Hiring Biased. ANDY NEWMAN; Diane Cardwell contributed reporting. The New York Times. Tuesday, May 22, 2007.
  23. ^ Rule Vulcans In, UFA Out in Suit Over Test Bias; Judge Concludes City Will Advocate For Union Interests. ARI PAUL, The Chief (New York City). September 14, 2007.
  24. ^ Diversity Remains Beyond FDNY's Grasp: New measures to bring in minorities and women appear to have failed. Matt Sollars. City Hall News (New York City). 1 November 2006.
  25. ^ FDNY Hire Suit on Tap. Newsday (New York). 21 May 2007
  26. ^ Lawyers for Guantánamo Inmates Accuse U.S. of Eavesdropping. WILLIAM GLABERSON, The New York Times. May 7, 2008.
  27. ^ "Humanitarian Law Project v. Mukasey" (2007) CCR press release.
  28. ^ "Trials for travel" continue in Washington, D.C., while Congress backtracks. Shauna Harrison, and Art Heitzer. National Lawyers Guild. July 2005.
  29. ^ South Asian Bar Association of New York.
  30. ^ Alan Chartrock (2006). "Alan Chartock Interviews Shayana Kadidal". Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  31. ^ Shayana Kadidal (April 7, 2008). "Torture From the Top Down: Of Memos and Rotting Fish". The Jurist. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  32. ^ Shayana Kadidal (May 1, 2008). "Guantánamo Ain't No Joke". The Nation. Retrieved 2008-06-19.