Torturers take note

Chile’s Augusto Pinochet always thought he was above the law so his arrest in London in 1998 surprised the world.

International law is developing to the point where administrators and advocates for unacceptable norms will soon face justice. And this includes those in the West.

How about individuals who advised the Bush administration to avoid the Geneva Convention and advocate torture? John Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, is one such man.

Philippe Sands is professor of law at University College London and practicing barrister and he recently debated Yoo:

“Yoo was well aware of the torture convention. However, when I raised the Pinochet precedent in our debate, he seemed slightly taken aback.

“It seems he may not have turned his mind to the possibility that a legal adviser associated with a policy that permits torture contrary to international legal obligations could be subject to international investigation.”

Nobody should be immune.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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