Is the prohibition against torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment absolute in international human rights law? A reply to Steven Greer
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Colleges, School and Institutes
In a recent article, Steven Greer questions whether the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is really ‘absolute’ in international human rights law, and argues that it is not. In this piece, I consider Greer’s arguments against the absolute character of the prohibition at law, and find them wanting. In doing so, I clarify what the legal prohibition’s absolute character entails, and what it does not, addressing misconceptions, and revisit the distinction between negative and positive obligations in human rights law. In responding to Greer’s arguments, conceptual clarifications are offered which carry significant implications in the context of counter-terrorism and human rights law more widely. At the same time, I underline that the absolute character of the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in human rights law does not close off critical engagement with the issue of individual (criminal) culpability vis-à-vis the prohibition at human rights law, or with the meaning of the terms torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
|Journal||Human Rights Law Review|
|Early online date||25 Jul 2017|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2017|
- torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, police, absolute rights, counter-terrorism, Gäfgen v Germany