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Degrading treatment is one form of harm within the right not to be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, recognised as one of the most fundamental guarantees within international human rights law. The prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment has been interpreted as the right that reflects most clearly the human rights law ideal of protecting human dignity and as a right that permits no legitimate limitations. The European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) is internationally recognised as having been at the forefront of interpretation of the right not to be subjected to torture or other prohibited harm. The Court has developed a rich body of principles and it has pioneered the extension of Article 3 to situations beyond the most common ones of detention and police ill-treatment. Although scholars have shown longstanding interest in the boundaries of interpretation of the prohibition of torture from different perspectives, the existing body of work does not sufficiently reflect the significance of the scope of meaning and application of degrading treatment.
This book fills this lacuna by exploring and evaluating the interpretive scope of the prohibition of degrading treatment in order to provide courts, scholars and practitioners with analytical tools to advance the application of the right not to be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in international, regional and domestic human rights law. Webster centres her analysis around three core aims: to explain the past trajectory of degrading treatment case-law; to advocate a conceptually-coherent interpretation of degrading treatment; and to assess future directions in the application of the prohibition of degrading treatment.
This book will be of great interest to scholars and practitioners of human rights law.