International Law Outline



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1984 – Torture Convention

  1. Strengthens existing norms against torture – requires state parties to present reports, and creates expert committee to review and make recommendations

    1. Includes optional individual complaints procedure

    2. REQUIRES states EITHER to prosecute OR to extradite.

  2. Why would states ratify this?

    1. Assume it means nothing.

    2. Domestic constituency is pushing for it/will be pleased.

    3. Prove you’ve turned the corner (i.e Argentina)

    4. Bind your successors.

    5. Maybe, truly altruistic state

  3. 141 states are party to convention.

  4. Very narrow definition of torture (Article 1) – limited to state officials acting that way for particular purposes. Where’s the value?

    1. General and specific REQUIREMENTS – huge range of remedies/specific steps that must be taken (education (art 10), systematic review (art 11))

    2. Starting VICTIM’S RIGHTS movement (Artil

  • Israeli Position on Torture

    1. Has policy allowing “moderate physical pressure” in interrogation of suspected terrorists

      1. History

        1. General Security Service- responsibility for combating terrorist attacks

          1. Use techniques like shaking, awkward and painful positions, very tight handcuffs, sleep deprivation.

        2. 1987 – Landau Report – government-appointed commission of inquiry

          1. Concluded GSS were entitled to apply MPP to elicit information required to save human lives

        3. Israeli Penal Code – 1977

          1. Clearly doesn’t meet CAT article 2 requirements

          2. Article 34(ii) – blanket exemption - runs into direct confrontation with CAT provisions

      2. Number of domestic and international complaints against GCC

    2. Israel became party to ICCPR and Torture Convention in 1991.

      1. Article 7 (ban on torture) is nonderogable article under Article 4


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