Routledge Handbook ETOs

Extraordinary rendition. A classic example of the USA avoiding ETOs as seen from Europe

This chapter examines the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) extraordinary rendition programme from the perspective of its consequences for European states which provided assistance. Extraordinary rendition, the term given to the kidnapping by US state officials (CIA) of persons suspected of terrorist involvement from the state where they are present and their (involuntary) transport to another state for the purpose of interrogation and torture, is a classic example of an activity designed to avoid ETOs. Torture is a crime both in the USA and in international law. So, the CIA’s problem was to find jurisdictions that would permit them to carry out on that territory action which was illegal at home. The whole purpose of the complicated and expensive activity is to avoid (US) national rules of jurisdiction. By moving victims from one foreign state’s territory to another, under conditions of great secrecy and with the complicity of foreign states’ authorities, the US Government sought to avoid the jurisdiction of its own courts. Looking in particular at the international and supranational dispute resolution mechanisms, the chapter highlights the problem of establishing the evidence in the face of state stonewalling. In particular, the chapter examines the sources of information that the European Court of Human Rights used to establish the credibility of the claims of torture.

by Elspeth Guild, in The Routledge Handbook on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations.

Read the article here.