Are diplomatic assurances adequate safeguards of human rights? : an examination of their protection against the death penalty and ill-treatment

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Massarsch, Anna
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The objective of the thesis is to examine the practical application and consequences of diplomatic assurances when applied to the death penalty or ill-treatment. The international judicial cooperation regarding inter-State transfers of individuals is described. An important change of procedures of transferring individuals suspected of terrorism has taken place in the wake of the attacks on 11 September 2001. The emergence of diplomatic assurances and their use in practice are presented in the context of the death penalty and ill-treatment. Diplomatic assurances against the death penalty are widely used and generally accepted, providing adequate safeguards against the implementation of the penalty. However, a careful review of the practice of diplomatic assurances against ill-treatment has proven to be less encouraging. Diplomatic assurances against ill-treatment are usually sought from States with a demonstrated record of illtreatment. While diplomatic assurances constitute a transparent procedure for protection against the death penalty, this is not the case when ill-treatment is concerned as such conduct usually is carried out in secrecy and by organisations outside the control of the Government which has provided the assurances. Therefore, many international experts have come to the conclusion that the practice of diplomatic assurances against illtreatment should be rejected rather than regulated.
Second semester University: National University of Ireland, Galway.
death penality, diplomatic immunity, international law, international relations, medical ethics, protection