In conversation with . . . Michael Dante Mori

Date & time

5.30–6.30pm Friday 10 October 2014


Auditorium, Australian Centre on China in the World, Building 188, Fellows Lane, The Australian National University


Michael Dante Mori, Lawyer and former Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.



Part of the In Conversation With ... series

This event is now fully-subscribed

Michael Dante Mori, or Major Mori, is better known as the charismatic military lawyer who represented Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks in the court battle that garnered worldwide attention.

Framed by vision of prisoners confined to steel cages in Guantanamo Bay, the Hicks case was among the first that saw many people asking the question – what crime was David Hicks actually being charged with? Further, why was the United States making a distinction between ‘unlawful combatants’ and ‘prisoners of war’, and why was Australia refusing to intervene for one of its people?

Drawing on his experiences as a military lawyer in the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mori will speak freely about the struggle for justice, and his own gradual disillusionment with the institution and government he had signed up to fight for.

Join us for a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the David Hicks case and Mori’s determination to remain true to his ideals, prioritise common sense and protect the spirit of the law.

Following completion of law school, Michael Dante Mori commenced as a Marine Corps officer serving as prosecutor and defense counsel. In 2003, Mori was assigned to the Office of the Chief Counsel for Military Commission – providing representation to detainees held at Guantanamo Bay – and was the first military lawyer assigned to represent a detainee: an Australian by the name of David Hicks.

A firm believer in the importance of due process, Mori grew increasingly alarmed by how the military and US and Australian governments were handling the Hicks case. The high profile case redefined the way American and Australian citizens saw their respective legal systems, and ultimately led Mori to end his career with the US Marine Corps and move to Australia.

His first book, In The Company of Cowards was released in September 2014, and looks at what justice and due process mean, and how they translate to our relationships with our governments now and in future.

The Co-Op Bookshop will have copies of the book available for purchase at the event, and Michael Dante Mori will be available to sign books at the conclusion of the lecture.

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