By the Book: Bush's Memoirs and the Rule of Law

11 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2010

See all articles by Ian Hurd

Ian Hurd

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 22, 2010

Abstract

The publication of President Bush’s memoirs has put the American government in a sensitive legal position. By admitting that he personally approved waterboarding, Mr. Bush may have made a formal declaration of state-sponsored torture. This has significant consequences for him and for the United States: for the U.S. it activates elements of the Convention Against Torture which require an investigation, and for Mr. Bush it opens the possibility of personal criminal liability under the U.S. Criminal Code on torture and similar laws in other countries. This paper examines the legal liability that follows from his admission, and compares several recent cases of heads of state who found themselves in similar situations.

Keywords: torture, Convention Against Torture, George W. Bush, Decision Points, international law

Suggested Citation

Hurd, Ian, By the Book: Bush's Memoirs and the Rule of Law (November 22, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1713194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1713194

Ian Hurd (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

601 University Place (Scott Hall)
Evanston, IL 60201
United States

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