Although our efforts are intended to inform jurisprudence in common law countries around the world, the Lexington Principles Project is, at its heart, chiefly an American endeavor. We hope that our efforts will help to advance our American detainee treatment standards so that they better accord with the shared values of the American people. Our development of these standards was in no way intended to disparage the noble work of those charged with protecting our national security; rather our efforts were meant only to help avoid the potential for overzealousness that arises whenever individuals fighting for noble ends operate without the balancing effect of binding legal standards.
The Lexington Principles on the Rights of Detainees contain many enhancements exceeding the minimum protections required by international law. This was done to help America set a new standard for excellence with respect to detainee treatment, and to help restore American leadership in the global effort to define and protect fundamental human rights. It is our hope that these Principles will help to shift our common law understanding of due process guarantees so that we may someday see them as rights tied to humanity rather than facticity, so that humankind will move one step closer to the ideal of universal human rights for all.
*The Lexington Principles Project is an independent international project on the rights of detainees hosted and supported by the School of Law and Washington and Lee University Institute for Honor. Its members hail from many different disciplines and institutions.