Accountability for Torture Abroad and the Limits of the Act of State Doctrine

Journal of International Criminal Justice (2010) 8 (4): 1153-1174

22 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2015

See all articles by Ben Batros

Ben Batros

Open Society Justice Initiative

Philippa Webb

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: August 25, 2010

Abstract

This article analyses the decision of the Federal Court of Australia that a claim brought by an Australian citizen against Australian government officials, who had allegedly aided and abetted his torture at the hands of foreign governments, was not barred by the act of state doctrine. The article provides critical reflections on the reasoning of the Australian court and the limitations of the act of state doctrine. It draws out the broader implications of the decision for efforts to secure accountability for torture committed abroad and the role of domestic courts in the international legal order.

Keywords: Habib, Acts of State, Torture, Habib v Commonwealth of Australia

Suggested Citation

Batros, Ben and Webb, Philippa, Accountability for Torture Abroad and the Limits of the Act of State Doctrine (August 25, 2010). Journal of International Criminal Justice (2010) 8 (4): 1153-1174. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2556795

Ben Batros

Open Society Justice Initiative ( email )

224 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
United States

Philippa Webb (Contact Author)

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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