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I. The Gillon Affair

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 January 2008

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Copyright © British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2005

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References

1 The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, for instance, documented nine cases of torture and ill-treatment in the May-August 1994 period, at a time when Mr Gillon was chief of the GSS's Headquarters Branch, <http://www.btselem.org>..>Google Scholar

2 The Commission was appointed following a decision of the Israeli Government in 1987 to examine the GSS methods of interrogation of terrorist suspects. It examined among others international human rights law standards and determined that in dealing with dangerous terrorists who represent a grave threat to the State of Israel and its citizens, the use of a moderate degree of pressure, including physical pressure, in order to obtain crucial information, is unavoidable under certain circumstances. The Commission recommended that ‘moderate physical pressure’ be sanctioned in limited cases where the degree of anticipated danger is considerable. See UN Doc AT/C/16/Add.4, paras 31–7. See also excerpts of the official English translation in 23 Is LR (1989) 146, which also contains a symposium on the Commission's Report.Google Scholar

3 UN Doc A/52/44 paras 257.Google Scholar

4 Following the Israel Supreme Court, Decision of 15 July 1999, HCJ 5100/94, where the Court found that the GSS was not authorized to use certain investigation methods that involved the use of moderate physical pressure, holding that such methods violated Israeli law, while at the same time stating that the defence of necessity might be available for the interrogators under Israeli law. On this later issue see P, GaetaMay Necessity Be Available as a Defence for Torture in the Interrogation of Suspected Terrorists?’ (2004) 2 JICJ 785–94.Google Scholar

5 UN Doc A/A9/44, para 168 (1994).Google Scholar

6 UN Doc A/52/44 para 257 (1997).Google Scholar

7 Jyllands, Posten Ny Ambassadør: Tortur er Nødvendigt July 9 2001. Mr Gillon later modified this number to 20–30, Berlingske Tidende Ambassadørens forsvarstale 15 Sept 2001.Google Scholar

8 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1986).Google Scholar

9 The Danish Penal Code (Straffeloven) was specially amended by Act No. 322 of June 1986 in fulfillment of the requirements as to jurisdiction flowing from article 5 of the Torture Convention. Cf UN Doc CAT/C/5/Add.4, para 19.Google Scholar

10 20002001 § 20 question (S 3279), available at; <http://www.ft.dk/Samling/20001/spor_sv/S3279.htm>>Google Scholar

11 Both organizations send letters advising the Danish Government not to accept Mr Gillon's nomination.Google Scholar

12 On file with the author.Google Scholar

13 For the internal debate see the list of articles from the Danish media available at <http://www.menneskeret.dk/tema/tortur> and for external pressure see eg press statement from B'Tselem of June 17 2001 available at <http://www.btselem.org/English/Press_Releases/2001/010617.asp>; letter to the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs from Human Rights Watch of July 18 2001 available at <http://www.org/english/docs/2001/07/19/denmar311.htm> public statement from Amnesty International of 14 Aug 2001, AI Index MDE 15/074/2001.+and+for+external+pressure+see+eg+press+statement+from+B'Tselem+of+June+17+2001+available+at+;+letter+to+the+Danish+Minister+of+Foreign+Affairs+from+Human+Rights+Watch+of+July+18+2001+available+at++public+statement+from+Amnesty+International+of+14+Aug+2001,+AI+Index+MDE+15/074/2001.>Google Scholar

14 20002001 s 20 question (S 3230), available at <http://www.ft.dk/Samling/20001/spor_sv/S3230.htm>>Google Scholar

15 –01 s 20 question (S 3231), available at <http://www.ft.dk/Samling/20001/spor_sv/S3231.htm>

16 Author's own translation, original Danish text on file. Reported in BBC News ‘Sharon “preparing war crime defence”’ (26 July 2001) available at <http://news.bbc.co.Uk/l/bi/world/middle_east/1458169.stm>..>Google Scholar

17 See for instance Copenhagen Post Gillon may be arrested 29 July 2001 available at <http://www.cphpost.dk/get/62358.html>>Google Scholar

18 The Danish Administration of Justice Act (Retsplejeloven) ss 96 and 719, with the possibility of private initiated prosecution in accordance with ss 720 (2), 725–7, cf generallyGoogle ScholarH, Gammeltoft-HansenStrafferetspleje I (Copenhagen Jurist-og Økonomforbundets foriag 1998) ch 7.Google Scholar

19 The Danish Administration of Justice Act (Retsplejeloven) s 719.Google Scholar

20 ibid s 96(2).

21 See E, SmithStraffeproces: Grundlceggende regler og principper (5 th ednForlaget Thomson Copenhagen 2003) ch I, 3.2.Google Scholar

22 ibid ch I, 3.2 and IV, 3.

23 The Danish Administration of Justice Act (Retsplejeloven) ss 98 and 719, cf H, Gammeltoft-Hansen above n 17, ch 7.B.5.Google Scholar

24 Cf concurring opinion of the Director of Public Prosecution (Rigsadvokat) Henning Fode, Berlingske Tidende Ambassadørens forsvarstale 15 Aug 2001.Google Scholar

25 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) Art 29: ‘The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.’ Art 31(1): ‘A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State.’ United Nations Torture Convention (1986) Art 6(1): ‘Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence.’ Art 6(2): ‘Such State shall immediately make a preliminary inquiry into the facts.’ Art 7: ‘The State Party in the territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.’Google Scholar

26 See Israel Cabinet Communiqué of 31 July 2001 Doc no. 2001073100.Google Scholar

27 On file with the author. Reported in the Copenhagen Post (Copenhagen Denmark 11 Sept2001), available at <http://www.cphpost.dk/get/62571.html>..>Google Scholar

28 Cf JH, Burgers and H, DaneliusThe United Nations Convention against Torture: A Handbook on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Martinus Nijhoff Dordrecht 1988) 134.Google Scholar

29 The Danish Administration of Justice Act (Retsplejeloven), s 762 (1).Google Scholar

30 Cf JH, Burgers and H, Danelius, above n 28 at 135.Google Scholar

31 B, ChengInternational Legal Instruments to Safeguard International Air Transport—The Conventions of Tokyo, the Hague, Montreal, and a New Instrument Concerning Unlawful Violence at International Airports, Aviation Security (International Institute of Air and Space Law The Hague 1997) 33.Google Scholar

32 Art 7 of the 1970 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircrafts, Art 7 of the 1971 Convention of Unlawful Acts against the safety of Civil Aviation, Art 7 of the 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons including Diplomatic Agents, and Art 8 of the 1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages.Google Scholar

33 D, CostelloInternational terrorism and the development of the principle of Aut Dedere Aut Judicare’ (1975) 10 J Int'l L & Econ 487, Burgers and Danelius, above n 28 at 137.Google Scholar

34 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), Art 27.Google Scholar

35 For the definition of the term ‘conflict of norms’, see J, PauwelynConflict of Norms in Public International Law: How WTO Law Relates to other Rules of International Law (CUP Cambridge 2003) 166 ff.Google Scholar

36 Neither of the conventions in question contains any explicit conflict clause.Google Scholar

37 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), Art 31.Google Scholar

38 On treaty interpretation, see generally G, FitzmauriceThe Law and Procedure of the International Court of Justice: Treaty Interpretation and Certain other Treaty Points’ (1951) 28 BYIL 1.Google Scholar

39 See E, DenzaDiplomatic Law (2nd ednClarendon Press Oxford 1998) 210.Google Scholar

40 For a similar views see R v Bow Street Stipendiary Magistrate and others, exparte Pinochet Ugarte, (No. 3), in (1999) 2 All ER 97, Lord Goff of Chieveley.Google Scholar

41 JH, Burgers and H, Danelius, above n 28 at 131. There are, however some uncertainties to this statement. First, because it on the face of the texts only refers to territorial jurisdiction under Art 5(l)(a) and, secondly, because it does not seem to distinguish between international and domestic immunity.Google Scholar

42 Pauwelyn, , above n 36 at 385.Google Scholar

43 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1961), Art 30(3) and 30(4)(a).Google Scholar

44 Pauwelyn, , above n 36 at 367.Google Scholar

45 ibid 368.

46 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), Art 30(4)(a) in conjunction with 30(3).Google Scholar

47 Burgers, and Danelius, , above n 28 at 1.Google Scholar

48 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), Article 31(1). See Territorial Dispute (Libyan Arab JamahiririyalChad) Judgment, ICJ Reports 1994 at 6 para 40; Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v United States of America) Preliminary Objections, Judgment, ICJ Reports 1996 at 803 para 23; KasikililSedudu Island (Botswana/Namibia) Judgment, ICJ Reports 1999 at 1045 para 18.Google Scholar

49 If one accepts, first, that Ambassador Gillon was a ‘public official or other person acting in a official capacity’ in accordance with Art 1(1) of the Torture Convention and, secondly, that the duty to exercise jurisdiction in accordance with Art 5(2) of the Torture Convention is not dependant on a prior refusal of an extradition request, see Burgers and Danelius, above n 28 at 133.Google Scholar

50 M, Fitzmaurice in M, D Evans (ed) International law (Oxford University Press Oxford 2003) 189.Google Scholar

51 E, DenzaDiplomatic Law: A Commentary on the VCDR (Clarendon Press Oxford 1998) 1. For the value attributed to immunity to ensure the workability of the relations between States see ICJ, U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Staff in the Tehran case (Provisional measures), ICJ Reports 1979, para. 38 and ICJ, U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Staff in the Tehran case (Judgment), ICJ Reports 1980, para. 92Google Scholar

52 Burgers, and Danelius, , above n 28 at 5.Google Scholar

53 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), Art 31(3)(c).Google Scholar

54 In the Gaddafi case the preamble of the Rome Statute was cited as evidence of the existing customary obligation to prosecute persons responsible for international crimes expressing the intent of the international community see Gaddafi 125 ILR June 2003 at 462. For comments on the case seeGoogle ScholarS, ZappalaDo Heads of State in Office Enjoy Immunity from Jurisdiction for International Crimes? The Ghaddafi case before the French Cour de Cassation’ (2001) 12 EJIL 595613.Google Scholar

55 A, CasseseInternational Law (OUP Oxford 2001) 264.Google Scholar

56 Soering v United Kingdom Judgment of 7 July 1989, Series A No 161Google Scholar

57 See Art 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Art 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.Google Scholar

58 Sevtap Veznedarodlu v Turkey (App 32357/96) Judgment of 11 Apr 2000 para 32 emphasis added.Google Scholar

59 Al-Adsani v the United Kingdom (App 35763/97) Judgment of 21 Nov 2001 para 56.Google Scholar

60 For torture as a crime against humanity, see Cassese, International Criminal Law (OUP Oxford 2003) 77.Google Scholar

61 R v Bow Street Stipendiary Magistrate and others, exparte Pinochet Ugarte, House of Lords Judgment of 24 Mar 1999, in (1999) 2 All ER 97.Google Scholar

62 C, Warbrick, EM, Sagado, and N, GoodwinThe Pinochet Cases in the United Kingdom’ (1999) 2 YB Int'l Hum L 109.Google Scholar

63 R v Bow Street Stipendiary Magistrate and others, exparte Pinochet Ugarte, House of Lords Judgment of 24 Mar 1999, in (1999) 2 All ER 97, Lord Millet at 178j-179a, and Lord Phillips at 190h-j.Google Scholar

64 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) Art 39(2).Google Scholar

65 See R v Bow Street Stipendiary Magistrate and others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte, House of Lords Judgment of 24 Mar 1999, in (1999) 2 All ER 97, Lord Brown-Wilkinson at 169f-g.Google Scholar

66 ICJ Case concerning the Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Democratic Republic of Congo v Belgium) 14 Feb 2002.Google Scholar

67 ibid para 61.

68 Warbrick, , Sagado, , and Goodwin, , above n 62, 115.Google Scholar

69 ICJ Case concerning the Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Democratic Republic of Congo v. Belgium) 14 Feb 2002, para 59, and Geneva Convention IV Relative to the Protection of Civilians in the Time of War (1949) Art 146.Google Scholar

70 ICJ Case concerning the Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Democratic Republic of Congo v. Belgium) 14 Feb 2002 para 58.Google Scholar

71 See eg Speech of Lord Browne Wilkinson, in R v Bow Street Stipendiary Magistrate and others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte, House of Lords, Judgment of 24 Mar 1999, in (1999) 2 All ER 97, at 112–15. See also speeches of Lord Hope of Craighead at 145-52, Lord Saville of Newdigate at 169–70, Lord Millet at 171–91, and Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers at 181–90.Google Scholar

72 See Audiencia Nacional Order (auto) of 4 March 1999 (no. 1999/2723).Google Scholar

73 See French text in RGDIP (2001) at 474. For comments see S, Zappala Do Heads of State in Office Enjoy Immunity from Jurisdiction for International Crimes? The Ghaddafi Case Before the French Cour de Cassation (2001) 595–612.Google Scholar

74 JCTY, Trial Chamber II, Judgment Furundzija U-95-17/1 ‘Lasva Valley’ of 10 Dec 1998 para 153–7, ICJ Case concerning the Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Democratic Republic of Congo v Belgium) 14 Feb 2002, Dissenting opinion of Judge Al-Khasawneh, para 7; M Karagiannakis ‘State Immunity and Fundamental Human Rights’ (1998) LJIN 19-23 19-20 and 41; A, BianciImmunity versus Human Rights: The Pinochet Case’ (1999) EJIL 262;Google ScholarA, OrakhelashviliState Immunity and International Public Order’ (1999) 42 German YB Intl L 261.Google Scholar

75 The Working Group cited the following cases in this connection: (United Kingdom) Al-Adsani v Government of Kuwait 100 ILR 465 at 471; (New Zealand) Controller and AuditorGeneral v Sir Ronald Davidson [1996] 2 NZLR 278, particularly at 290 (per Cooke P); Dissenting Opinion of Justice Wald in (United States); Princz v Federal Republic of Germany 26 F 3d 1166 (DC Cir 1994) at 1176–85; Siderman de Blake v Republic of Argentina 965 F 2d 699 (9th Cir 1992); Argentine Republic v Amerada Hess Shipping Corporation 488 US 428 (1989); Saudi Arabia v Nelson 100 ILR 544.Google Scholar

76 See Counter-Memorial of the Kingdom of Belgium in the Arrest Warrant case 28 September 2001, ch 5.Google Scholar

77 Cf B, Simma and P, AlstonThe Sources of Human Rights Law: Custom, Jus Cogens and General Principles’ (1992) 12 Aust YBIL 88100.Google Scholar

78 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969) Art 26.Google Scholar

79 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) Art 4(2) and 9.Google Scholar

80 See C, WarbrickImmunity and International Crimes Under English Law’ (2004) 53 ICLQ 769–74, and the incident involving Major T. R. A. Kohatsu quoted in Cassese, above n 55 at 273.Google Scholar

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