POSTS BY Donal Coffey

Torture, Human Rights and the Northern Ireland Conflict

At what point does harsh treatment of detainees amount to torture? With the US Senate report on CIA interrogation practices dominating all the headlines, this question is very much on our minds right now. That the European Court of Human Rights will have to consider this question, is a mere coincidence, though. The Irish Government has decided to reopen a decades old case from the darkest days of the Northern Ireland conflict (Ireland v United Kingdom). The case will raise once again the ugly spectre of the systematic abuse of prisoners in Northern Ireland. Moreover, the litigation has the potential to have far-reaching effects in the relationship between the European Court and the United Kingdom, and in the constitutional settlement within the United Kingdom itself.

Continue Reading →