Interview with Derek Jinks, UT professor and expert in Humanitarian Law
It is encouraging that the issue of torture is being discussed without any dismissals of 'those people deserve it' or 'they would not be there if.. ' . In today's Austin American Statesman, there was a long interview with Derek Jinks who, aside from being a professor at UT (University of Texas), worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia. Excerpt time;
Jinks believes the Guantánamo example has violated something almost sacred — the idea fortified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions that all detainees in a time of war are entitled to some basic human rights, no matter how urgent the crisis, no matter how savage the conflict. He sees President Bush's declaration (in 2002) that detainees in a war on terror were not worthy of Geneva protections as "a terrible blow" for international law. "And the reason it was such an enormous setback is because it was the United States making the policy."
Jinks is heartened by the Supreme Court's June 29 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision, which affirmed Guantánamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan's right to Geneva protections and declared the president's military tribunal policy unlawful. Long active in the Hamdan case, Jinks co-authored a friend-of-the-court brief focusing on the legal applicability of the Geneva Conventions in questions involving Guantánamo.
Jinks, a 38-year-old alumnus of Yale Law School who earned his undergraduate degree at UT, by no means sees the Hamdan ruling as an end point, especially since Congress has the power to supercede the Supreme Court as it now undertakes the question of what to do on Guantánamo. Nor is he sold on the Bush administration's statement, issued Tuesday, that henceforth all detainees in American military custody will be afforded Geneva protections
Click on quote for full article.