Torture defines as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession….” By practice, it may be “inflicted by or at the instigation of or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.” The prohibition against torture under international law and criminal defense law firm applies to many measures—e.g., hanging by feet or hands for prolonged periods, beating on the soles of the feet, the electric shock applied to genitals and nipples, near suffocation by plastic bags tied around the head, needles inserted under fingernails, near drowning through submersion in water, rape, whipping, burning, and mutilation. In this article, we will give you an overview of the legal prohibition against torture.
What Laws Prohibit Torture?
The practice of torture is globally condemned. Whatever its actual method, almost no country publicly supports torture or opposes its eradication. The prohibition of torture is well established under international law. As jus cogens, it has the highest standing in customary law. It is so fundamental to supersede all other treaties and customary laws (except laws that are also jus cogens). Criminal acts categorized as jus cogens are subject to universal jurisdiction, in which any state can exercise its authority, regardless of where the crime took place, the perpetrator’s nationality, or the victim’s nationality.
Are There Any Situations in Which Torture Is Permitted?
What Are the Remedies Against Torture?
Under U.S. law, victims of torture may file a claim in state or federal courts. However, there are many practical obstacles to such trials, including obtaining evidence of suffering and the financial costs of legal representation, along with legal and procedural barriers to a successful prosecution. Also, even if the situation is complicated and compensation is awarded, financial remuneration does not undo the damage caused: the experience of torture and its often prolonged physical, emotional, and psychological effects.
Officers involved in torture, such as those who give orders and those who carry them out, could and should be prosecuted and disciplined. However, history suggests that officers should be prosecuted. The charges made and the penalties imposed are often influenced by these extrajudicial issues, as the compassion of individuals for the victim or the support of all these officials and the political context in which the crime took place play an essential role.