In collaboration with the IQAC, Seedling School of Law and Governance organized a Guest Lecture by Prof (Dr) Damian Mather, Faculty Law and International Lead, Manchester Metropolitan University Law School, Manchester, UK, on “Prohibition of Torture and Terrorism” on 17th November, 2022.
Speaking on the topic, Prof Mather believes that this is a taboo subject that frequently elicits passionate responses from individuals who argue both for and against its use in upholding national security. He discussed vigorous debate challenges moral, ethical, legal, and even pragmatic ideals in seeking to determine if state use of torture can ever be a part of any country’s national security strategy. These considerations in the guest lecture, have inspired the specific research question which seeks to determine whetherthe government’s use of state-sponsored torture for national security purposes can ever be justified.
Prof Mather discussed International Human Rights Law and made connections with the UN Convention Against Torture (1984). He also discussed the challenges of the state with regards to the use of torture of suspects and the human rights issues. Prof Mather connected the topic with the philosophy of law, morality and ethics. He discussed different interpretations and definitions for torture and how to identify where torture begins and ends and if any distinction exists between it and softer terms or euphemisms such as enhanced interrogation. He concluded that the countries are bound to follow the doctrine or the directions of the United Nations Guidelines.
Prof Mather considers who, if anyone, should be held accountable for the Intelligence Agency’s "enhanced interrogation techniques"; whether we should merely "move forward," and whether those who authorized these tactics should be investigated. He then discusses what these issues teach us about law and lawyering, and what our collective response to the experience might teach us about ourselves.
At the end of the lecture, Prof Mather urged the law students to look at both sides of the argument with conviction and belief of faith. The students were thrilled to have listened to the lecture.