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In the first three sections, I examine the background of the Convention in the context of international human rights instruments (Section I); the context for a critique of the CAT’s definition of torture, given the legislative history of the Convention and an existing statute that could aid in correcting the misinterpretation adversely affecting CAT enforcement (Section II); and the adverse international implication of the United States’ restrictive meaning of torture (Section III). In a concluding section (IV), I offer possible solutions to the problem, invoking a robust principle of Immigration Lenity to prevent the return of potential torture victims to countries where they are likely to suffer torture.


Originally published by Rutgers Law Review in 2013.