A Critical Analysis of the Use of Diplomatic Assurances in the Cases of Expulsion to Torture

Security concerns of states in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the global war on terror have brought the use of diplomatic assurances into the spotlight more than ever. Diplomatic assurances in the cases of expulsion to torture, or simply promises not to torture, have raised substantial questions regarding the legality of this practice in international law. The main reason for this criticism is that this practice is mitigation on the principle of non-refoulement to torture, as the most prominent norm of customary international law or jus cogens. This article scrutinizes the origin and nature of this practice and critically analyses the existing case law encompassing diplomatic assurances for expulsion to torture. Thereafter, this article suggests that a more structured framework, perhaps something like treaties, is needed to strengthen the enforcement and monitoring mechanisms of promises not to torture.

Balancing effective protection and agency overreach: lessons from Israel

Israel has a longstanding experience on dealing with security, and the many administrative tools developed in an effort to provide domestic safety. One must bear in mind that such effort may require extraordinary powers, not often used in a democracy. The decisions made will impact the level of infringement on human and civil rights. One decision regards chosing which state agency will handle each emergency (civillian? military? a specialized agency?). A second decision concerns what rules such agencies will apply and the level of protections that civilians will enjoy (oversight with the agency, press coverage, availability of appeal, judicial and parliamentary oversight etc.). Finding a balance between effective protection of national security and agency overreach takes time, and must be done with care and respect bewteen the branches, as such issues receive great public attention especially when public support and trust is most vital.

State of emergency and rule of law in France

The state of emergency was decreed on November 14, 2015 in France to face the terrorist attacks of this bloody night. It was then extended for two years. Justified by the fight against terrorism, it survived and was used for other purposes. Therefore, one can wonder how the contemporary State structured by the rule of law (Etat de droit) as France is it, composed with regimes of exception and integrate them in their daily life. What conceptual evolutions result particularly on the understanding of the rule of law ?