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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Messineo on Extraordinary Renditions and State Obligations to Prosecute Torture

Francesco Messineo  (University of Cambridge) has posted The Abu Omar Case in Italy: ‘Extraordinary Renditions’ and State Obligations to Criminalize and Prosecute Torture Under the UN Torture Convention. Here is the abstract:

This article deals with state obligations under the UN Torture Convention, specifically the criminal prosecution of individuals for torture and complicity in torture incidental to ‘extraordinary renditions’, by focusing on Italy's obligations arising from the abduction of Mr Abu Omar. After addressing what ‘extraordinary renditions’ are and the wider context in which they occurred, the article considers the obligation to criminalize complicity in torture and its implementation in Italy. It then analyzes the ongoing Italian criminal proceedings concerning the abduction of Mr Abu Omar and concludes that they are not an adequate implementation of Italy’s obligation to prosecute complicity in torture under the Convention for a variety of reasons. In particular, it addresses the issue of ‘state secrecy’ which emerged during the proceedings and was decided upon by the Constitutional Court, and argues that it cannot be used to avoid international obligations under the Convention.

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