The Torture Lawyers

23 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2020

See all articles by Michael P. Scharf

Michael P. Scharf

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: 2010


This article recounts the story about how these four individuals intentionally cut off the government's primary experts on the Geneva Conventions, the Torture Convention, and customary international law from the decision making process. In doing so, they presented a one-sided and distorted view of U.S. obligations under international law that led to a widespread government policy and practice of torture. It also reveals how a trio of important Supreme Court precedents disrupted these plans, and ultimately swung the balance back in favor of compliance with international law.

Keywords: International Law, Torture

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Scharf, Michael P., The Torture Lawyers (2010). 20 Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 389 (2010), Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010, Available at SSRN: or

Michael P. Scharf (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

Case Western Reserve University, School of Law
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3299 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics