‘Taking Off the Blindfolds: Torture by Non-State Actors’
1 Human Rights Law Review (2001) 189-218 (with Rebecca La Forgia)
Posted: 21 Jun 2012
Date Written: 2001
International human rights law has traditionally been concerned with obligations of the State towards people within its jurisdiction, with human rights treaties being drafted, by States, to place direct legal obligations on States alone for actions by the State. This approach to international human rights has been challenged by some recent developments, especially in relation to allegations of violations of the prohibition against torture. This article will consider the case of Sadiq Shek Elmi v. Australia (Elmi), where it was considered that actions by non-State actors could, under certain circumstances, lead to international human rights obligations on States.
It will be shown that the Elmi decision is consistent with the jurisprudence of those international human rights supervisory bodies in which obligations on States arise for actions by non-State actors. It is also part of a gradual movement away from an international legal system focussed almost solely on the actions of States.
Keywords: international law, human rights, torture, non-state actors
JEL Classification: K1, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation