Inhuman or Degrading Punishment and the Administrative State

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Economic and Social Rights Academic Network UK and Ireland (ESRAN-UKI) Winter Workshop February 2024.

This paper explores the conceptual value of distinguishing the prohibition of inhuman or degrading punishment from inhuman or degrading treatment. It achieves this through examining the prohibition of inhuman or degrading punishment beyond the criminal justice context. It is suggested that the prohibition of inhuman or degrading punishment may be more responsive than inhuman or degrading treatment to situations in which the administrative state designs and implements policies which are designed to punish non-criminal wrongs. To achieve this, benefit sanctions are used as a case study. Benefit sanctions have been closely linked to socio-economic harms (and destitution) and consequently, a second purpose of this paper is to examine the limits on the use of socio-economic measures as a method of punishment. In this way, the paper revisits the relationship between (some benefit sanction-induced) material deprivation and Article 3 of the ECHR.
Period2 Feb 2024
Event typeConference
LocationColchester, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational