GOV_298_15 - Why Do Authoritarian Regimes Sign the...

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Why Do Authoritarian Regimes Sign the Convention Against Torture? The Badass Story Human Rights Part 1 – The United Nations Human Rights Conventions INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (Course number GOVT 298, Spring 2010) Instructor: James Raymond Vreeland
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Plan Quick background on HUMAN RIGHTS treaties One Puzzle Four arguments Evidence
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Quick background On United Nations Human Rights Treaties…
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Human Rights Principally a legacy of World War II 1948: Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ 1966: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_ccpr.htm International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_cescr.htm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpAfe-ruM4U
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The core UN universal human rights treaties 1976: ICCPR International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1981: CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 1987: The CAT Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CAT)
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What do they do? They all have: Domestic legal requirements Enforced domestically… International Committees Can be invited to make reports… Only the CAT has UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION
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Universal Jurisdiction Torture committed against citizens of country A by citizens of country B while in country C can be prosecuted by country D!!!!!
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Definition of torture The CAT defines torture as any act inflicted under public authority by which severe pain or suffering ( physical or mental ) is intentionally inflicted on a person for the purposes of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or discrimination.
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Note that “torture” is defined as a state- sanctioned crime The CAT is radical: governments hand over prosecuting authority to 3rd-parties for state-sanctioned crimes, perhaps committed against a state’s own citizens!
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The CAT might have teeth! Examples: Pinochet http://www.allbusiness.com/north-america/united-states-illinois-metro-areas-chicago/1110433-1.html The Bush Six http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2009/04/13/090413ta_talk_mayer Alberto Gonzales (Attorney General) David Addington (Cheney Chief of Staff) John Yoo (DOJ "torture memos") William Haynes II (Pentagon Lawyer) Jay Bybee (Asst Attorney Gen) Douglas Feith (Deputy Defense (Former Gtown Prof)
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http://www.dougfeith.com/#SpanishAffair This threat of prosecution challenges the integrity of the U.S. government… It claims that U.S. officials can be criminally punished by a foreign court for official work they do for the American people… NOTE: United States signed CAT 18 April 1988 United States ratified CAT 21 October 1994
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February 2011: Human rights groups alleged: Pres. George W. Bush cancelled Swiss trip Concerned about being held accountable in Geneva for alleged torture in
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course GOVT 298 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Georgetown.

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GOV_298_15 - Why Do Authoritarian Regimes Sign the...

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