Scott Horton Interviews Philippe Sands

Scott Horton, May 16, 2008

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Philippe Sands, professor of law at University College London and author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values, discusses Douglas J. Feith’s role in coming up with the twisted excuse for abandoning the Geneva Conventions in the name of saving them, the “necessity” excuse invoked by participants in the decision making process, the dismissal, last week, of the charges against the tortured “20th hijacker” al Quatani, the complete lack of evidence against him, his understanding that the torture at Guantanamo was limited to a few cases, the migration and escalation of “aggressive” interrogation tactics and the threat to the bad apples at the top of America’s torture policy due to the immunity clause of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

MP3 here
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Philippe Sands is Professor of Law and Director of the Center on International Courts and Tribunals in the Faculty, and a key member of staff in the Center for Law and the Environment at University College London. His teaching areas include public international law, the settlement of international disputes (including arbitration), and environmental and natural resources law.

Philippe is a regular commentator on the BBC and CNN and writes frequently for leading newspapers. He is frequently invited to lecture around the world, and in recent years has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto (2005), the University of Melbourne (2005) and the Universite de Paris I (Sorbonne) (2006, 2007). He has previously held academic positions at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Kings College London and , University of Cambridge and was a Global Professor of Law at New York University from 1995-2003. He was co-founder of FIELD (Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development), and established the programmes on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the European Journal of International Law and Review of European Community and International Environmental Law (Blackwell Press). In 2007 he served as a judge for the Guardian First Book Prize award.

As a practicing barrister he has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the European Court of Justice. He frequently advises governments, international organisations, NGOs and the private sector on aspects of international law. In 2003 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. He has been appointed to lists of arbitrators maintained by ICSID and the PCA.

4 Responses to “Philippe Sands”

  1. Great interview as always, Scott. It is a disgrace that there are so few voices in the American mainstream media who question the treatment of people held in detention by the U.S. government.

  2. According to Dr Bob Bowman, former chief of US Missile Defense, missile defense
    is the missing link to a First Strike. Dr Bob Bowman thinks the missiles in Poland will be very useful to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles after a First Strike. Therefore the Russians will implement Launch On Warning. The terrible consequences of a mstake will be caused by the Pentagon´s drive for a disarming, unanswerable first-strike capability. Dr Bob Bowman agrees that the Pentagon will get disarming first-strike capability by 2011/12. Acc. to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-www.plrc.org-the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy subs simultaneously. The main danger is Russian Launch On Warning because of US First-Strike Capability. Please read Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, “The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy”, 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. By 2011/12 the Pentagon will have achieved that the Russians have no choice but Launch On Warning as they will have no other means of defense. I´ll recommend Bob Aldridge´s books First Strike! The Pentagon´s Strategy For Nuclear War, The Counterforce Syndrome, Nuclear Empire and his recent book America in Peril.

  3. the united states can not defeat a few thousand insurgents in iraq and now they want to go to war with 90 million iraninans have you americans lost your minds

  4. Isn’t it strange that no “al-Qaeda” have been given a credible trial?

    I would think that if they were a real threat, or a real organization for that matter, Bush would be falling over himself to prove it.

    Maybe he can’t.

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