Robert J. Delahunty

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Robert J. Delahunty formerly served as Special Counsel with the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice.

Along with John C. Yoo, Delahunty co-authored the controversial Legal Arguments for Avoiding the Jurisdiction of the Geneva Conventions, a sweeping 42-page memo concluding that neither the Geneva Conventions nor any of the laws of war applied to the conflict in Afghanistan. This legal memo, developed without input from the military or the Department of State, was widely condemned as a reversal of established U.S. policy regarding the humane treatment of prisoners. [1]

In 2004, Delahunty left the Department of Justice to become Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law.

Bush Administration War on Terror Memos

ProPublica notes that "the Bush administration’s "war on terror" - including its controversial policies on detentions, interrogations and warrantless wiretapping - were all underpinned by legal memoranda. While some of those memos have been released ... the former administration chose to keep many others secret, citing security and confidentiality concerns. The decision to release them now lies with President Obama. To help inform the debate - and inject an extra dose of accountability - we’re posting a list of the relevant memos, both public and secret." [2]

Memo authors include John C. Yoo, Steven G. Bradbury, Jay Bybee, James B. Comey, Robert J. Delahunty, Jack Goldsmith, James Ho, Daniel Levin, Patrick Philbin, legal architects (and some internal critics) of the Bush Administration's use of torture and detention policies now being reversed or reviewed by the Obama Administration.



  • 1970 Bachelor of Arts, Oxford University. Major in Classics.
  • 1972 Bachelor of Philosophy, Oxford University.
  • 1983 Juris Doctor cum laude, Harvard University Law School.

Delahunty was admitted the New York Bar in 1983. [3]

Career Highlights

  • 2002 - 2003 Deputy General Counsel, Office of Homeland Security
  • 1992 - 2002 Special Counsel, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice
  • 1991 - 1992 Special Assistant to the Solicitor, Department of Labor
  • 1989 - 1991 Department of Justice (unspecified position)
  • 1986 - 1989 Civil Rights Division(Appellate Section), Department of Justice

SourceWatch Resources

External links

"Robert Delahunty Biography", University of St. Thomas School of Law, undated.