Protection against torture in Western security frameworks: the erosion of non-refoulement in the UK-Libya MOU
In 2005, the United Kingdom (UK) signed Memoranda of Understanding with Libya, Jordan and Lebanon. These memoranda allow the signatory nations to return individuals who are considered threats to the public safety of the host country, to their country of origin. This paper will show that the memoranda are both an extension of the UK’s security-focused migration policies and in conflict with the UK’s human rights obligations. First, it will be argued that the memoranda represent an effort by the UK, pre-dating and accelerated by the September 11th attacks, to frame migration policy control as a national security goal. Second, it will be argued that the non-binding nature of the memoranda and their lack of mechanisms for implementation and legal redress could negatively impact the principle of non-refoulement to torture.