1887
Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Torture, while internationally sanctioned, is not well-defined. This paper sets out a Minimal English definition of the crime of ‘torture’ in international law. The four elements of torture are: (1) infliction of severe pain and suffering (2) acting with intent (3) for a purpose (4) by the state. The connection between intention and outcome is considered in the light of presumptions. I then briefly consider the concept of ‘lawful sanctions’ and the UN Standard Minimum Rules that apply to the treatment of prisoners to establish a baseline against which allegations of torture can be measured. Finally, I argue that current regimes of British benefit sanctions, whereby social welfare payments are stopped, may in some cases constitute torture. This argument considers the effects of sanctions and the discourses and ideologies attached to social welfare claimants.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/jlp.15040.moo
2017-04-12
2019-10-15
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Barker, Chris
    2003 “Paraphrase is not Enough.” Theoretical Linguistics29: 201–209.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Biressi, Anita
    2011 “‘The Virtuous Circle’: Social entrepreneurship and welfare programming in the UK”. InReality Television and Classed. by Helen Wood and Beverly Skeggs , 144–55. London: British Film Institute/Palgrave Macmillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Brown, Russell MP.
    2013 Hansard, 19Mar 2013: Column 847. Accessed1 October 2015. www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130319/debtext/130319-0002.htm#column_847.
  4. Burchard, Christoph
    2008 “Torture in the Jurisprudence of the Ad Hoc Tribunals.” Journal of International Criminal Justice6: 159–82. doi: 10.1093/jicj/mqn013
    https://doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqn013 [Google Scholar]
  5. Church Action on Poverty
    Church Action on Poverty 2015Time to Rethink Benefits Sanctionswww.church-poverty.org.uk/rethinksanctions/report/reportpdf [accessed1st October 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Cunniffe, Diarmuid
    2013 “The Worst Scars are in the Mind: Deconstructing psychological torture.” ICL Journal: Vienna Journal; of Constitutional Law7: 1(13)1–59https://www.icl-journal.com/download/00de8a26f5d95a1cd7a02862d30f34fa/ICL_Thesis_Vol_7_1_13.pdf [accessed9th February 2016].
    [Google Scholar]
  7. DWP Unspun
    DWP Unspun 2014dwpunspun.org.uk/sanctions [accessed12th May 2015].
  8. DWP
    DWP 2013 “Jobseeker’s Allowance: overview of revised sanctions regime” https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/238839/jsa-overview-of-revised-sanctions-regime.pdf [accessed8th May 2015].
  9. DWP
    DWP 2014 “Guidance: Jobseeker’s Allowance Sanctions: how to keep your benefit” paymenthttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions-leaflet/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions-how-to-keep-your-benefit-payment [accessed28th May 2015].
  10. Franck, Thomas M. and Prows, Peter
    2005 “The Role of Presumptions in International Tribunals.” The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals4: 197–245. doi: 10.1163/1571803054515294
    https://doi.org/10.1163/1571803054515294 [Google Scholar]
  11. Garthwaite, Kayleigh
    2011 “The Language of Shirkers and Scroungers: Talking about illness, disability and coalition welfare reform.” Disability and Society26(3): 369–372. doi: 10.1080/09687599.2011.560420
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2011.560420 [Google Scholar]
  12. Geurts, Bart
    2003 “Semantics as lexicography” Theoretical Linguistic29: 223–6.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Goddard, Cliff https://doi.org/10.1016/B0-08-044854-2/01060-9
  14. Hancock, Lynn and Mooney, Gerry
    2013 “Beyond the penal state: Advanced marginality, social policy and anti-welfarism.” InCriminalisation and Advanced Marginality: Critically Exploring the Work of Loïc Waquanted. by Peter Squires and John Lea , 107–28. Bristol: Policy Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Harper, Julianne
    2009 “Defining Torture: Bridging the Gap between Rhetoric and Reality.” Santa Clara Law Review49: 893–928.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Hathaway, Oona A. , Nowlan, Aileen and Spiegel, Julia
    2012 “Tortured Reasoning: the Intent to Torture under International and Domestic Law.” Virginia Journal of International Law52: 791–837.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Ingelse, Chris
    2001United Nations Committee Against Torture: An Assessment. The Hague: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Jensen, Tracey
    2014 “Welfare Commonsense, Poverty Porn and Doxosophy.” Sociological Research Online19 (3), 3www.socresonline.org.uk/19/3/3.html, [accessed1st October 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Khan, Shehab
    2015 “Man has benefits sanctioned for not seeking work while waiting to start new job at the DWP.” The Independent18thDecemberwww.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/man-sanctioned-by-the-dwp-for-not-seeking-work-while-waiting-to-start-job-at-the-dwp-a6778486.html [accessed8 February 2016].
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Klayman, Barry M.
    1978 “The Definition of Torture in International Law.” Temple Law Quarterly51: 499–517.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria and Inger Ahlgren, Inger
    2003 “NSM: Theoretical, methodological and applicational problems.” Theoretical Linguistics29: 247–61.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Lansley, Steward and Mack, Joanna
    2015Breadline Britain: The Rise of Mass Poverty, London: Oneworld.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Luban, David , and Shue, Henry
    2011 “Mental torture: a critique of erasures in US law.” Georgetown Law Journal100: 823–63.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Matthewson, Lisa
    2003 “Is the meta-language really natural?” Theoretical Linguistics29: 263–74.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Miller, Gail
    2005 “Defining Torture.” Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy, Occasional Paper 3www.cardozo.yu.edu/programs-centers/floersheimer-center-constitutional-democracy/publications [accessed12th May 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Money Advice Service
    Money Advice Service 2015 “Benefit sanctions and what to do about them” https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/benefit-sanctions-and-what-to-do-about-them [accessed1st October 2015].
  27. Nowak, Manfred
    2006 “What Practices Constitute Torture?: The US and UN Standards.” Human Rights Quarterly28(4): 809–841. doi: 10.1353/hrq.2006.0050
    https://doi.org/10.1353/hrq.2006.0050 [Google Scholar]
  28. Paterson, Laura , Coffey-Glover, Laura and Peplow, David
    2016 “Negotiating Stance within Discourses of Class: Reactions to Benefits Street .” Discourse and Society27(2): 195–214. doi: 10.1177/0957926515611558
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926515611558 [Google Scholar]
  29. Rejali, Darius
    2009Torture and Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Rodley, Nigel
    1997 Special Rapporteur on Torture, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1997/7, (Jan.10) athttps://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G96/144/94/PDF/G9614494.pdf?OpenElement [accessed15th March 2016].
  31. 2002 “The definition(s) of Torture in International Law.” Current Legal Problems55(1): 467–493. doi: 10.1093/clp/55.1.467
    https://doi.org/10.1093/clp/55.1.467 [Google Scholar]
  32. Rogers, Simon
    2013 “UK welfare spending: how much does each benefit really cost?” The Guardian8thJanuarywww.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jan/08/uk-benefit-welfare-spending [accessed12th May 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Rothenberg, Daniel
    2003 “What We Have Seen Has Been Terrible-Public Presentational Torture and the Communicative Logic of State Terror.” Albany Law Review67: 465–499.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Rouillard, Louis-Philippe F.
    2005 “Misinterpreting the Prohibition of Torture under International Law: the Office of Legal Counsel Memorandum.” American University International Law Review21(1): 9–41.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Saif-Alden Wattad, Mohammed
    2008 “The Torturing Debate on Torture.” Northern Illinois Law Review29: 1–49.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Schechter, Rebecca
    2003 “Intentional Starvation as Torture: Exploring the Gray Area Between Ill-Treatment and Torture” American University International Law Review18: 1233–1270.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Shildrick, Tracy and MacDonald, Robert
    2013 “Poverty talk: how people experiencing poverty deny their poverty and why they blame ‘the poor’.” The Sociological Review61(2): 285–303. doi: 10.1111/1467‑954X.12018
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.12018 [Google Scholar]
  38. Squires, Peter and Lea, John
    2013 “Introduction: Reading Loïc Wacquant – opening questions and overview.” InCriminalisation and Advanced Marginality: Critically Exploring the Work of Loïc Waquanted. by Peter Squires and John Lea . 1–18. Bristol: Policy Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Stanley, Elizabeth
    2005 “Truth commissions and the recognition of state crime.” British Journal of Criminology45(4) 582–597. doi: 10.1093/bjc/azi039
    https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azi039 [Google Scholar]
  40. Stollznow, Karen
    2008 “Dehumanisation in language and thought.” Journal of Language and Politics7(2): 177–200. doi: 10.1075/jlp.7.2.01sto
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.7.2.01sto [Google Scholar]
  41. Tiersma, Peter
    2001 “The rocky road to legal reform: improving the language of jury instructions.” Brooklyn Law Review66 (4): 1081 – 1119.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Twigg, Derek MP.
    2013 Hansard, 19 Mar 2013 : Column 836www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130319/debtext/130319-0002.htm#column_836 [accessed1st October 2015].
  43. United Nations
    United Nations 1966International Covenant on Civil and Political Rightswww.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx [accessed8th May 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  44. United Nations
    United Nations 1977Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisonerswww.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/treatmentprisoners.pdf [accessed28th May 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  45. United Nations
    United Nations 1984Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatmentwww.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CAT.aspx [last accessed2 October 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  46. van der Vyver, Johan D.
    2003 “Torture as a crime under international law.” Albany Law Review67: 427–63.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Viterbo, Heidi
    2014 “Seeing Torture Anew: A Transnational Reconceptualization of State Torture and Visual Evidence.” Stanford Journal of International Law50: 281–317.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Webster, David
    2015 “Benefit sanctions: Britain's secret penal system.” Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 26thJanuarywww.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system [accessed12th May 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Wierzbicka, Anna
    1992Semantics, Culture, and Cognition: Universal Human Concepts in Culture-Specific Configurations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. 1996Semantics, Primes and Universals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. 2009 ‘Mental Lexicon’. The Slavic Languages: An international handbook of their history, their structure and their investigation, ed. by Tilman Berger , Karl Gutschmidt , Sebastian Kempgen and Peter Kosta . Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/347528/wierzbicka-mental-lexicon.pdf [accessed17th May 2013].
    [Google Scholar]
  52. 2014aImprisoned in English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. 2014b “‘Pain’ and ‘suffering’ in cross-linguistic perspective.” International Journal of Language and Culture1(2): 149–173. doi: 10.1075/ijolc.1.2.02wie
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijolc.1.2.02wie [Google Scholar]
  54. Wierzbicka, Anna and Goddard, Cliff
    2015 “Global English, Minimal English: Towards better intercultural communication” Position Statementhrc.anu.edu.au/sites/hrc.anu.edu.au/files/u78/Global_English_Minimal_English%20position%20papers.pdf [last accessed28th September 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Wintour, Patrick
    2014 “Benefit sanctions hit over 900,000 claiming jobseeker’s allowance” Guardian8Decemberwww.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/08/900000-claiming-job-seekers-allowance-subjected-benefit-sanctions [accessed10th April 2015].
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Wolcher, Louis
    2006 “How Legal Language Works.” Harvard Journal of Legislation2: 91–125.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Work and Pensions Committee
    Work and Pensions Committee 2015 House of Common, Work and Pensions – Fifth Report: Benefit sanctions policy beyond the Oakley Reviewwww.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmworpen/814/81402.htm [accessed12th May 2015].
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/jlp.15040.moo
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): benefits sanctions , law , Natural Semantic Metalanguage , semantics , social welfare and torture
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error