This house believes the practice of extraordinary rendition a useful and necessary policy in the fight against terrorism.

“Extraordinary rendition” is the transfer of an individual, without the benefit of a legal proceeding in which the individual can challenge the transfer, to a country where he or she is at risk of torture.[1] This makes it different from other rendition-methods, like extradition, which is treaty-based, or deportation, which is based on the expelling country’s domestic judicial processes. Other terms used for “extraordinary rendition” are “rendition” (the way Amnesty International refers to it), or “irregular rendition”.

Although rendition began in the 1990s under Bill Clinton the word usually crops up in connection to the September 11 attacks and the U.S. Government’s “war on terrorism”. The persons who are “rendered” might be captured outside the U.S.A (by the C.I.A. or any other body, e.g. in Afghanistan) and then, without legal process, transferred to America. They also might be captured on foreign soil and then transferred to any other country by the U.S.A. It is the latter case which has attracted the most criticism: according to the critics, the U.S. uses this specific form of extraordinary rendition to torture suspects of terrorism, without having to do the torturing themselves. Proponents of the procedure, including the US Government, argue in contrast that they have no knowledge of torture occurring in the states where suspects are sent, and that even if they are, the resultant information justifies the methods used to extract them.

[1] Satterthwaite, M. L. (2007, August) Rendered meaningless: Extraordinary Rendition and the Rule of Law. Retrieved June 22, 2011 from the George Washington Law Review: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=945711

 

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