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How do people know how – very practically speaking – to be violent? This article explores that question through a Science and Technology Studies perspective. It does so in order to go beyond the usual location of global political violence at a structural level that attributes its emergence principally to hierarchical orders, formal training, or deep cultural, political, or ideological factors. The alternative explanation offered here draws on Bruno Latour's concept of ‘plasma’ to sketch a theory of how practices of violence are embedded at a distributed ontological level through the historical accumulation of (popular) cultural, textual, technological, and other epistemic objects. In making that claim, I seek to stress how violent knowledge circulates outside the formal domains associated with it (the military, police) and is instead preconsciously accessible to each and every person. To support this argument, the article draws on empirical examples of the use of torture, including interviews conducted with Syrian perpetrators of torture, as well as by tracing the paradoxical entanglements between scientific practice and the practice of torture. I conclude by engaging the field of preventive medicine to speculate on the need to develop modes of violence prevention that appreciate political violence as a population-level sociopolitical problem.
Emerging neurotechnology offers increasingly individualised brain information, enabling researchers to identify mental states and content. When accurate and valid, these brain-reading technologies also provide data that could be useful in criminal legal procedures, such as memory detection with EEG and the prediction of recidivism with fMRI. Yet, unlike in medicine, individuals involved in criminal cases will often be reluctant to undergo brain-reading procedures. This raises the question of whether coercive brain-reading could be permissible in criminal law. Coercive Brain-Reading in Criminal Justice examines this question in view of European human rights: the prohibition of ill treatment, the right to privacy, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and the privilege against self-incrimination. The book argues that, at present, the established framework of human rights does not exclude coercive brain-reading. It does, however, delimit the permissible use of forensic brain-reading without valid consent. This cautionary, cutting-edge book lays a crucial foundation for understanding the future of criminal legal proceedings in a world of ever-advancing neurotechnology.
The authors outline areas that need special attention. The purpose of the appointment should be explained, and the practicalities of attendance addressed. The attitude/approach of the clinician is discussed in relation to creating a sense of safety and trust. Individuals may fear authority and may have had experiences they find difficult to disclose.
Confidentiality, safety and anxieties about the assessment are reviewed, as people may have little prior knowledge of the system and have had bad past experiences. Acknowledgement and discussion are crucial. More detailed discussion of working with interpreters follows, as this is an often-neglected area. Pros and cons of ‘remote working’ are reviewed.
Some specific aspects of assessment are considered: difficulties in disclosure and how to explore issues such as torture, sexual violence, domestic abuse, moral injury, and rape.
People seeking asylum may be isolated with few resources. Strengths should be emphasised, and sources of support identified, and contact facilitated. Feedback and checking understanding are helpful, and often fosters trust. Scrupulous record keeping is emphasised.
International human rights law applies at all times to protect civilians, even though the status of civilian does not exist in the same way that it does under international humanitarian law (IHL). The law binds primarily States, which become party to human rights treaties; they are also bound by rules of customary human rights law. But the duty to respect fundamental human rights also applies to international organisations, including the United Nations, and arguably also to armed groups and corporate entities, as the chapter describes. The human rights duty to investigate suspicious deaths is also considered.
Emerging neurotechnology offers increasingly individualised brain information, enabling researchers to identify mental states and content. When accurate and valid, these brain-reading technologies also provide data that could be useful in criminal legal procedures, such as memory detection with EEG and the prediction of recidivism with fMRI. Yet, unlike in medicine, individuals involved in criminal cases will often be reluctant to undergo brain-reading procedures. This raises the question of whether coercive brain-reading could be permissible in criminal law. Coercive Brain-Reading in Criminal Justice examines this question in view of European human rights: the prohibition of ill-treatment, the right to privacy, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and the privilege against self-incrimination. The book argues that, at present, the established framework of human rights does not exclude coercive brain-reading. It does, however, delimit the permissible use of forensic brain-reading without valid consent. This cautionary, cutting-edge book lays a crucial foundation for understanding the future of criminal legal proceedings in a world of ever-advancing neurotechnology.
During the fourth century AD the Christian liturgical year reached its stability, mainly with regard to the Easter cycle. It remained in many ways distinct from the civil one, still tied to pagan characteristics. Nevertheless, especially after the Edict of Thessalonica (380 AD), roman imperial legislation started to use Christian Feasts, which then became reference point for the temporal organization of administrative and procedural activities.
Given this framework, the research aims to reconstruct how Christian feasts are used by Emperors in the administration of justice. Through the examination of a certain number of imperial constitutions (collected in the Theodosian Code and in the Justinian’s one), but also of the literary sources of the time, the article will analyse how the Emperors – also thanks to this new timing of justice – pursued going forward with the Christianization of a still deeply pagan society. Principal sources: C. 3,12,2(3); CTh. 2,8,1; CTh. 2,8,18; C. 3,12,9(11); CTh. 9,35,4; CTh. 9,35,5; CTh. 9.35.7; C. 3,12,8(10).
This book provides an interdisciplinary overview of international human rights issues, offering truly international coverage including the Global South. Considering the philosophical foundations of human rights, Chen and Renteln explore the interpretive difficulties associated with identifying what constitute human rights abuses, and evaluate various perspectives on human rights. This book goes on to analyze institutions that strive to promote and enforce human rights standards, including the United Nations system, regional human rights bodies, and domestic courts. It also discusses a wide variety of substantive human rights including genocide, torture, capital punishment, and other cruel and unusual punishments. In particular, the book offers an accessible introduction to key understudied topics within human rights, such as socioeconomic rights, cultural rights, and environmental rights. It also focuses on the rights of marginalized groups, including children's rights, rights of persons with disabilities, women's rights, labor rights, indigenous rights, and LGBTQ+ rights, making this an engaging and invaluable resource for the contemporary student.
Beginning with “multidisciplinary approaches to the study of self,” the chapter explores the “collective experience” of Africa through poetry. The chapter, in its depiction of the interwoven relationship between self and narrative, establishes the perpetuity of self with words such as “ever-changing,” “evolving,” “becoming,” and “actualization.” Further, the chapter establishes how self is discovered through a consciousness of belonging to a larger society vis-à-vis self’s relationship with other aspects of the society. Poetry gives the reader the opportunity to feel a larger expression of the narrative, such as the energies, events, and experiences felt by the poet. However, understanding these expressions requires the possession of the same level of sensitivity by the reader. With references to his poetic collection, the author proceeds to examine the narration of self to portray existing socio-cultural values/desires and their importance in Africa. They include eulogizing and celebrating individuals, extolling the mother both as the carrier and nurturer of life, and the pride in face marks as ethnic identity, amongst others.
This paper examines whether the interpretation of Article 30 of Geneva Convention III that allows the use of solitary confinement for prisoners of war with psychosocial disabilities is still valid in light of the new standards of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It proposes two alternative interpretations of Article 30 to demonstrate why isolation based on disability is unlawful and concludes that the use of solitary confinement on prisoners of war with psychosocial disabilities should be prohibited.
Boat pushbacks and pullbacks by Italy and the European Union (EU) have returned migrants and refugees to Libya where they have been subjected to brutal human rights violations, such as torture and ill-treatment. This article argues that these pushbacks and pullbacks not only undermine key human rights principles, but they are also an act of cruelty. As Italy and the EU have used the law to evade their international human rights and refugee obligations, the law has had distributive effects that have shaped migration pathways and exacerbated the vulnerability of migrants and refugees to torture. Not only have legal manoeuvres stripped migrants and refugees of their rights, enabling Italy and the EU to return people to inhumane detention centres in Libya, but they have also had the sinister side effect of excluding migrants and refugees from moral concern. As Italy and the EU have sought to evade legal responsibility, it has created indifference to the suffering of people on the move in Libya. This article sheds important light on the factors that lead to the torture of migrants and refugees on their migration journeys and offers new insights into the relationship between cruelty, migration policies, and indifference to human suffering.
Chapter 3, “Pawiak Prison,” places a spotlight on the main institution used to control the intelligentsia and their behavior: Pawiak prison. Nearly 100,000 “political criminals” – resisting elites, or those suspected of resistance – were held and tortured there between 1939 and 1944. The Warsaw Gestapo, working for Hans Frank’s General Government administration, utilized the former tsarist prison as a holding facility for Poles suspected of resistance to the occupation. It became symbolic of Nazi terror and hostility to the Polish national project, despite being confined behind the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto from fall 1940 on. The experience of confinement, mistreatment, and interrogation within the prison galvanized opposition projects for those who survived the experience. Nazi paranoia about potential Polish resistance kept Pawiak full and constant overcrowding demanded solutions: the mass execution of many prisoners, prisoner transfer to concentration camps in Nazi Germany, and the opening of a new concentration camp at Auschwitz to the southwest as an overflow facility. This chapter argues that Pawiak was both symbol and microcosm of how Warsaw’s German civilian and police administration attempted to control the Polish intelligentsia and its potential resisters after the killing campaigns concluded.
In Chapter 5, I investigate the emergence, institutionalisation, and cessation of the US use of torture during interrogation, in the form of ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ developed for the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme. I question whether this represents the erosion of international and domestic prohibitions on torture and find that it does not; they too continue to exist, but temporarily transformed, before reverting back to their earlier form. This process occurred because the CIA developed a new ‘science’ of interrogation and placed it at the centre of new institutional capacities to detain and interrogate ‘high-value’ prisoners, which they justified on the basis of its scientific validity and efficacy. Their legal and scientific arguments revolved around distinguishing their activities from torture, which they never claimed was appropriate but also never admitted to using. As these justifications increasingly failed, the use of EITs stopped and was again prohibited.
In this Introduction to the book, I raise the question of the possible erosion of prohibitions on assassination, torture, and mercenarism. I discuss the limits of ‘norm death’ as an explanation and propose instead that a ‘normative transformation’ has occurred. I outline how pragmatism, practice theory, and relational sociology will inform my perspective, how I will critique and build on theories of norm change in IR, and how I will analyse the three cases: the USA’s targeted killing programme, the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme, and the USA’s extensive employment of armed contractors in war zones.
Pratt investigates the potential erosion of prohibiting assassination, torture, and mercenarism during the US's War on Terrorism. In examining the emergence and history of the US's targeted killing programme, detention and interrogation programme, and employment of armed contractors in warzones, he proposes that a 'normative transformation' has occurred, which has changed the meaning and content of these prohibitions, even though they still exist. Drawing on pragmatist philosophy, practice theory, and relational sociology, this book develops a new theory of normativity and institutional change, and offers new data about the decisions and activities of security practitioners. It is both a critical and constructive addition to the current literature on norm change, and addresses enduring debates about the role of culture and ethical judgement in the use of force. It will appeal to students and scholars of foreign and defence policy, international relations theory, international security, social theory, and American politics.
Refugees typically spend years in a state of protracted displacement prior to permanent resettlement. Little is known about how various prior displacement contexts influence long-term mental health in resettled refugees. In this study, we aimed to determine whether having lived in refugee camps v. community settings prior to resettlement impacted the course of refugees' psychological distress over the 4 years following arrival in Australia.
Participants were 1887 refugees who had taken part in the Building a New Life in Australia study, which comprised of five annual face-to-face or telephone surveys from the year of first arrival in Australia.
Latent growth curve modelling revealed that refugees who had lived in camps showed greater initial psychological distress (as indexed by the K6) and faster decreases in psychological distress in the 4 years after resettling in Australia, compared to those who had lived in community settings. Investigation of refugee camp characteristics revealed that poorer access to services in camps was associated with greater initial distress after resettlement, and greater ability to meet one's basic needs in camps was associated with faster decreases in psychological distress over time.
These findings highlight the importance of the displacement context in influencing the course of post-resettlement mental health. Increasing available services and meeting basic needs in the displacement environment may promote better mental health outcomes in resettled refugees.
Chapter 5 delves into three additional cases of treaty interpretation by the human rights treaty bodies. The aim of the chapter is to probe the plausibility of the TLC concept across the human rights regime. I use insights and findings gathered from the drafting process of GC No. 15 to articulate a typology that distinguishes the treaty bodies by their likelihood to need external input when drafting GCs. Drawing on a combination of data – documents and existing scholarship, as well as interviews and personal observations – the case studies ultimately demonstrate the TLC concept to be applicable to drafting processes in other treaty bodies, even where their formation is less likely.
Chapter 4 argues in favor of seeing medieval justice as penitential justice with the ultimate goal of spiritual reform. Medieval society blurred the lines between sin and crime, penance and punishment. Recognizing this distortion is how one makes sense of peine forte et dure. Pain as an experience is key to the performance of penance. Through physical pain, the disordered soul is righted and the sinner gains entrance to heaven. Fasting, seclusion, denial of luxuries – these are all ascetic practices with a long association with Christian penance. Even pressing with weights appears as a penitential practice in numerous sermon stories from the era. Exposing the uncooperative sinner to an ascetic lifestyle, even if it was against his wishes, was in the best interests of the defendant’s soul. As a coercive measure, it helped to begin the process of purging his sin before he agreed to place himself in the hands of the jury. As such, he displayed to jurors his willingness to reform his ways and reconcile with the Christian community.
Chapter 1 examines precisely what peine forte et dure entailed during the Middle Ages. Paying special attention to the vocabulary related to peine forte et dure in the legal record, this chapter argues that “hard prison” (prison forte et dure) should be considered an umbrella term that includes a wide variety of practices, such as fasting, cold and nakedness, seclusion, and sometimes pressing. The make-up of the punishment depended on the nature of the crime and the defendant’s conduct at court. The traditional narrative sees an evolution in the practice from prison forte et dure, described as a starvation diet and miserable prison conditions, intended as a coercive measure to encourage the defendant to plead, gradually superseded by peine forte et dure, pressing with stones and irons unto death. The medieval evidence, instead, shows that some silent defendants fasted while others were pressed, and at no point did the practice shed its coercive nature altogether. This chapter also locates the practice’s origins in the church’s penitential practices, specifically in the public penance (paenitentia publica) assigned to murderers, political rebels, and other serious crimes.
In medieval England, a defendant who refused to plead to a criminal indictment was sentenced to pressing with weights as a coercive measure. Using peine forte et dure ('strong and hard punishment') as a lens through which to analyse the law and its relationship with Christianity, Butler asks: where do we draw the line between punishment and penance? And, how can pain function as a vehicle for redemption within the common law? Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, this book embraces both law and literature. When Christ is on trial before Herod, he refused to plead, his silence signalling denial of the court's authority. England's discontented subjects, from hungry peasant to even King Charles I himself, stood mute before the courts in protest. Bringing together penance, pain and protest, Butler breaks down the mythology surrounding peine forte et dure and examines how it functioned within the medieval criminal justice system.
This chapter shows how the derangement of the senses and isolation of the individual that are idealised modes of Romantic and post-Romantic verse are hideously intensified in the contemporary supermax. Its focus is on solitary confinement in US prisons as a way of preventing the formation of solidarities. As such, it explores the conditions for producing poetry in prison: different models of the workshop, reform and revolution, and imprisoned writers’ relationships to the carceral and poetic institution. It discusses the trope of incommunicability in prison writing. It discusses the psychic and physical effects of life ‘in the hole’, drawing on writings by numerous well-known and lesser-known imprisoned poets. It ends with the claim that it is the contemporary abolitionist movement that is the true inheritor and defender of the Romantic imagination.