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Protecting Citizens From Torture Abroad: Are Governments Doing Enough?

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Chapter Summary

To make diplomatic representations or to take a stand against torture when it involves another country undoubtedly has very serious foreign policy implications. This chapter discusses one case which raises some of the complex issues, and it is the case of British long-term residents and persons recognised as refugees in this country who remain in Guantánamo Bay. Developing the lines of the Feroz Ali Abassi case, the Court was willing to consider whether the foreign secretary appropriately exercised his discretion. The case does not go so far as to recognise a duty of states under international law to make representations on behalf of their nationals or anyone else when torture is at stake, but as the Special Rapporteur of the International Law Commission on Diplomatic Protection has noted, this area of international law is still very much evolving, so an international law obligation is not yet clear.

Keywords: British long-term residents; diplomatic representation; Feroz Ali Abassi; foreign policy; Guantánamo Bay; International Law Commission; Torture Convention; United Kingdom court

10.1163/ej.9789004179851.i-276.40
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