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‘The Gloves Came Off’: Torture and the United States after September 11, 2001

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This article examines the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ in the context of international legal obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984 (CAT) and the domestic implementation of the international prohibition of torture into United States (US) law under 18 United States Code Sections 2340-2340A. The legal basis for the interrogation programme was a series of contentious legal memoranda written by Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel lawyers. 1 This article examines whether the memo drafters ought to be investigated for incurring criminal liability for the consequences of their memoranda, namely under CAT and Sections 2340-2340A and what has unfolded under President Obama’s administration.

Affiliations: 1: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London,


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