find the latest legal job
Property Lawyer | In-house | Global UK Company | 3-8PQE | Melbourne
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne VIC 3004
· Be part of a large in-house team · Property experience an advantage
View details
In-house Property Lawyer - 3-6year PQE | Dynamic High Impact Role
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne VIC 3004
· Highly regarded internal legal team · Ideal first in-house role
View details
Inhouse Counsel | Technology Company | 3-6yr PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Brisbane QLD
· Challenging mix of commercial contracts, IT/IP and corporate advisory
View details
Employment lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Thriving national firm · Highly respected employment law practice
View details
Senior commercial litigation lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· High-performing national firm · Broad commercial litigation focus
View details
President Trump slammed by lawyers as inspiration to ‘brutal dictators’

President Trump slammed by lawyers as inspiration to ‘brutal dictators’

Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has been called out by Australian Lawyers for Human Rights after recent comments that suggested people should engage in “medieval torture”.

In his first televised interview since his inauguration, President Trump said that torture “absolutely works” and suggested that Americans should engage in it because ISIS is doing it and “we have to fight fire with fire”.

ALHR hit back at the new US President, saying that it would like to remind him that it is well established in international law that freedom from torture is a human right, “without exception”.

“The international community of nations has agreed that the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is a fundamental principle of international law, from which no derogation is permitted,” ALHR president Benedict Coyne said.

“President Trump should have the foresight that his words may inspire systemic human rights abuses beyond America’s borders.”

Mr Coyne said that in making such statements, President Trump “sounds like a torture-totin’ totalitarian, which is bound to encourage other brutal dictators around the world to rule with cruelty”.

“It is completely unacceptable that ‘the leader of the free world’ could hold such misguided and erroneous beliefs,” he added.

“The statistics, studies and non-alternative facts show that torture does not work, full stop. It would be prudent for the leader of the world’s greatest superpower to learn some basic principles of international law and then lead with wisdom, not ignorance.”

Mr Coyne noted that many international human rights agreements, such as the International Bill of Human Rights, which both the US and Australia have signed and ratified, provide that some human rights can be derogated from by restrictions provided at law and which are necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others.

“Freedom of speech, for example, is restricted in order to protect the rights and freedoms of others. The prohibition on torture is not restricted, it is absolute,” he said.

Following these comments by President Trump, ALHR called on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in her bid for Australia’s election to the UN Human Rights Council to strongly condemn these comments and beliefs of the new US President as “they have no place in a decent, dignified, civilised and democratic world”.

“Even straying out of the realms of legal principle, we find that there is no compelling evidence that torture actually works,” Mr Coyne said.

“In fact, even the American Senate report released in December 2014 after a four-year, $40 million investigation concluded that CIA torture and ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques did not work and produced either faulty intelligence or no intelligence at all.

“It appears that once again President Trump is playing fast and loose with the ‘alternative truth’.”

Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
07:00
Vic government urged to consider spent convictions scheme
The Law Institute of Victoria has called on the state government to consider laws that will wipe the...
May 22 2017
Barristers raise funds for prize in memory of Katrina Dawson
Members of the NSW Bar Association have hit the pavement to raise funds for a new readers’ schola...
Diverse Hands
May 22 2017
Bringing gender diversity issues to the fore
Promoted by A varied career as a lawyer and barrister has led to a new focus on addressing gender...
APPOINTMENTS
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years...
Angela Lynch
May 9 2017
Women’s legal service appoints chief executive
Women’s Legal Service Queensland has appointed an experienced family lawyer as its new CEO. ...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...