Torture in Thailand at the Limits of Law

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    How do courts mediate the relationship between the practice of torture and the content of law in places where torture is neither explicitly criminalized nor authorized? If torture is recounted in court, then what happens? Drawing on sixteen months of observation and documentary research in Thailand, this article outlines a jurisprudence of torture in which judges accommodate the practice by denying the facticity of narratives about torture, or accepting the narratives’ facticity but denying that anyone can be held responsible, or accepting that someone might be held responsible but excusing them of responsibility in the name of duty or by holding only one or two of them, or their employer, in some way liable. Through this jurisprudence, judges in Thailand have kept torture at the limits of law: not on a boundary between the legal and illegal, but on a line between the legally ordered and unordered, which is to say, in the realm of the alegal.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)236-261
    JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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