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Arcs of Global JusticeEssays in Honour of William A. Schabas$
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Margaret M. deGuzman and Diane Marie Amann

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190272654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190272654.001.0001

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Torture by Private Actors and ‘Gold-Plating’ the Offence in National Law

Torture by Private Actors and ‘Gold-Plating’ the Offence in National Law

An Exchange of Emails in Honour of William Schabas

Chapter:
(p.287) 15 Torture by Private Actors and ‘Gold-Plating’ the Offence in National Law
Source:
Arcs of Global Justice
Author(s):

Andrew Clapham

Paola Gaeta

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190272654.003.0016

The email exchange between Andrew Clapham and Paola Gaeta set forth in this chapter offers a snapshot of an argument over whether states parties to the Torture Convention are obliged to criminalise in domestic law the crime of torture as such. It goes on to explore what are the pros and cons of demanding that torture requires the involvement of a ‘state official’ and whether states can ‘gold-plate’ their definition of torture in domestic law, thus extending the crime into the private sphere. In the end, this is a discussion about the very nature of torture, or if you like, torture’s ‘quintessence’.

Keywords:   torture, international crimes, state actors, non-state actors, public official

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