, Volume 91, Number 3

Andrew Jillions

Diplomatic assurances are promises which purport to manage the tension between the need for national security and the human rights obligations not to send individuals to countries where they would be at risk of torture. This article looks at how and why diplomatic assurances have become a part of policy efforts to make counterterrorism human rights compliant and as part of a wider strategy for drawing a line under the damaging legacy of the ‘war on terror’. This positive gloss on the use of diplomatic assurances is, however, in contrast to the worries motivating human rights advocates which centre on the implications for the global anti-torture regime. Behind the doubts surrounding diplomatic assurances is a wider concern, centred on whether the past architects of the war on terror can be trusted to progressively develop the rules and norms governing this domain.

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