Podcast: Torture D-F - Human Rights Law Committee

Friday 22 April 2022

This is episode 2 of an IBA Human Rights Law Committee podcast series looking at both obvious and overlooked aspects of litigating and documenting torture, in an ‘A-Z’ format. This episode covers D-F: deprivation; the exclusionary rule; and forensics.

During this second episode, the hosts interview the distinguished Argentinian jurist and activist, Professor Juan Méndez. Professor Méndez, a torture survivor and prisoner of conscience, set up the Americas Program for Human Rights Watch, was the Commissioner for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, was appointed as the first UN Special Advisor on the prevention of genocide and served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture from 2010 until 2016.

This episode will focus on his ground-breaking work in this field, including the recent promulgation of the ‘Mendez principles on effective interviewing for investigations and evidence gathering’. These principles, based on extensive consultations with legal, medical and security experts, seek to eliminate the use of torture, coercion and duress during law enforcement interviews, by setting out clear guidelines for obtaining accurate and reliable information, in a manner that is fully consistent with internationally recognised human rights standards.

Leading this project, and featured in this episode, are Alka Pradhan and Melinda Taylor, Co-Vice-Chairs of the IBA Human Rights Law Committee. Alka is a US human rights lawyer who has represented Guantanamo Bay detainees, civilian drone strike victims and other torture victims. Melinda is an Australian international criminal defence lawyer who has worked on defence cases before tribunals in Rwanda and Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, and engaged in human rights litigation concerning torture and arbitrary detention before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, and UN special mechanisms.