Sunday 16 September 2007
Provocative article on torture
Prof. Michael Scharf has prepared an article in which he argues that there should be exceptions to the absolute prohibition on the admissibility of evidence obtained under torture. It will apparently be published as Scharf, Michael, "Tainted Provenance: When, If Ever, Should Torture Evidence Be Admissible?" . Washington and Lee Law Review, Vol.65, No. 1, 2008. It is available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1013363#PaperDownload . It seems to run counter to so many principles that one hardly knows where to start in critiquing it. I found the analogy with the use of medical research obtained by Nazi doctors to be particularly odd. The debates about medical research are ultimately ethnical matters. Analogies with the admissibility of evidence in a criminal court, especially when there is a peremptory rule set out in the Torture Convention, seem wrong-headed. But the article will certainly stir controversy and, hopefully, provoke detailed, serious analyses of Mike's arguments.