The term ‘torture’ is one of the most remarkable words in the English language. It conjures hugely powerful emotions, yet is so loosely and confusedly defined. What is torture? Can we even define it? Or do we just know it when we see it? Such a word poses a real problem for the law. Torture [...]
Archive for the ‘Prohibition on torture’ Category
Does the treatment of Bradley Manning, currently in solitary confinement at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, constitute torture? On the one hand, you have the Quantico brig suggesting that the steps taken are for his own safety and Barack Obama feebly ‘assuring’ us they meet basic standards. On the other hand, you have the [...]
Guest blog: Tom Hewitt is currently training as a solicitor. He has an LLM from the University of Cambridge and finished top in his year in his law degree at the University of Sussex. He has previously interned at Redress and International Society for Human Rights. To many, the absolute prohibition on torture, enshrined in [...]
The ultimate test for those who espouse the view that the ban on torture should be absolute is the scenario of the ‘ticking time bomb’. The scenario is as follows. There is a bomb in the middle of London and the authorities know who has planted it but don’t know where it is. Can the [...]
The International Bar Association has published an article by Leon Glenister entitled ‘The fruits of the poison tree and the absolute prohibition on torture: the case of Gafgen v Germany’. It can be accessed here. A final draft is viewable here.
International law places an absolute prohibition on torture. This has faced numerous challenges, for example on the question whether governments can deport suspected terrorists where there is a risk of torture on their return (see the European Court of Human Rights cases of Chahal v UK and Saadi v Italy). The most recent challenge is [...]