Unmasking Extraordinary Renditions in the Context of Counter-Terrorism


This Article will show that the term “extraordinary rendition” is of short legal history and that its conception perverts a number of basic international law principles. In doing so, it will be shown that this process is a method counter-productive to long terms goals in the War on Terrorism.

We can conclude therefore that both “rendition to justice” and “extraordinary rendition” bear little resemblance to the traditional use of the terms rendition or extradition - the recognised, legal methods of transferring a suspect of a criminal offence from one State to another.

[T]he protections of an extradition Treaty and the rights it affords an accused can be seen as inherent justiciable. The use of the extradition process is an expression of State sovereignty, yet the guiding principles of double criminality and specialty ensure that the rights of the transferred person are also subject to protection and judicial scrutiny.

It is clear that the nature of enforced disappearances is such as to attempt to avoid any legal process and human rights protection. In addition, it is noted that official denial of this practise as part of counter-terrorist policy and a lack of judicial oversight contribute to the view that U.S. intelligence agencies are aware of the illegality of the practise at international law


Civil Law | Human Rights Law | International Law

Date of this Version

August 2006