Professor Peter Jan Honigsberg’s current research focuses on the rule of law and human rights violations that occurred in the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and on the study of terrorism and other post–9/11 issues.
Honigsberg is the founder and director of Witness to Guantanamo, which began in fall 2008. He has filmed over 158 full–length and in–depth interviews in twenty countries of former detainees and others who have worked in or are associated with the prison in Guantánamo, including prison guards, interrogators, interpreters, chaplains, medical personnel, prosecutors, habeas and JAG attorneys, high–ranking government and military officials, and family members of former prisoners. In May 2007, Honigsberg visited the detention center at Guantánamo. He teaches Legal Issues of Terrorism, Administrative Law, International Criminal Law, and Legal Drafting.
He is the author of Our Nation Unhinged: The Human Consequences of the War on Terror (University of California Press, 2009) and Crossing Border Street: A Civil Rights Memoir (University of California Press, 2000).
His articles include, “Linguistic Isolation: A New Human Rights Violation Constituting Torture, and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment” (Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights); “Chasing Enemy Combatants and Circumventing International Law: A License for Sanctioned Abuse” (UCLA International Law and Foreign Affairs Journal); “Inside Guantanamo,” (Nevada Law Journal); “In Search of a Forum for the Guantanamo Disappeared” (University of Denver Law Review); and “The Evolution and Revolution of Napster” (University of San Francisco Law Review).
Honigsberg has contributed pieces to the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and other media sources and blogs. He is currently writing a book on his work with Witness to Guantánamo, A Place Outside the Law: Post 9/11 Guantánamo, to be published in fall 2019 by Beacon Press.
- BA, City University of New York
- JD, New York University
- Director, Legal Writing and Research Program, USF School of Law and Golden Gate University School of Law
- Instructor, San Francisco State University
- Attorney/Author, Private Practice
- Staff Attorney, National Housing Law Project, Berkeley
- Administrative Law
- Guantanamo Bay
- Human Rights
- International Criminal Law
- International Human Rights Law
- International Humanitarian Law
- National Security
- Awards & Distinctions
Sigrid Rausing Trust Grant, Witness to Guantanamo project
Left Tilt Fund Grant, Witness to Guantanamo project
Roddick Foundation Trustees Grant, Witness to Guantanamo project
Open Society Institute (Soros) Grant, Witness to Guantanamo project
Levinson Foundation Trustees Grant, Witness to Guantanamo project
Samuel Rubin Foundation Trustees Grant, Witness to Guantanamo project
- A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo (Beacon Press, 2019)
- Gilbert's Legal Research, Writing & Analysis (Gilbert Publishing Co, 12 Edition, Cleveland, Ohio) (Co-Authored with Professor Edith Ho.)
- Our Nation Unhinged: The Human Consequences of the War on Terror (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009)
- Crossing Border Street: A Civil Rights Memoir (University of California Press, 2000)
- Law Review and Journal Articles
- “The Consequences Today of the United States' Brutal Post-9/11 Interrogation Techniques,” 31 The Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy (2017). SSRN
- “"I Still Live in Guantanamo," Human rights abuses continue after detainees leave Guantanamo",” 30 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy (2016). SSRN
- “Linguistic Isolation: A New Human Rights Violation Constituting Torture, and Cruel, Inhuman And Degrading Treatment,” 12 Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights (2014). Read More
- “Linguistic Isolation: A New Human Rights Violation Constituting Torture, and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment,” (2013). SSRN
- “In Search of a Forum for the Families of the Guantanamo Disappeared,” 90 Denver University Law Review 433 (2012). SSRN
- “Conflict of Interest that Led to the Gulf Oil Disaster,” 41 Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10414 (2011). SSRN
- “Inside Guantanamo,” 10 Nevada Law Journal 82 (2009). SSRN
- “Chasing Enemy Combatants and Circumventing International Law: A License for Sanctioned Abuse,” 12 UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs 1 (2007). (Symposium: Protecting the Nation at the Expense of Individuals? Defining the Scope of U.S. Executive Power at Home and Abroad in Times of Crisis) SSRN
- “Pursuing Dignity Through Three Tumultuous Decades: Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism 1941-1973,” 44 Santa Clara Law Review 335 (2003). SSRN
- “The Evolution and Revolution of Napster,” 36 University of San Francisco Law Review 472 (2002). SSRN
- “A Barbie Doll Story: How the Doll Study in Brown v. Board of Education led Berkeley High School Students to Question the World of Barbie Dolls,” Phi Delta Kappan (1995).
- “When the Client Harasses the Attorney — Recognizing Third-Party Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession,” 28 University of San Francisco Law Review 715 (1994). (With Marilyn Tham and Gary Alexander)
- “Unfairness in Access to and Citation of Unpublished Federal Court Decisions,” 18 Golden Gate University Law Review 277 (1988). (With James A. Dikel)
- “Tenant Union-Landlord Relations Act: A Proposal,” 58 Georgetown Law Journal 1013 (1970). (With Myron Moskowitz)