A World Without Torture


This lecture is based on testimony delivered on January 7, 2005 before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the nomination of the Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, as well as remarks given at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on November 1, 2004 at a panel entitled “Torture:  Where Were the Lawyers?”  The editors of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law have graciously allowed me to publish this lecture in lieu of the remarks I delivered when I received the Wolfgang Friedmann Award on April 24, 2003 at Columbia Law School.  An updated version of those remarks was subsequently published as Harold Hongju Koh, Transnational Legal Process After September 11, 22 BERKELEY J. INT’L. L. 337 (2004).

I thank Dora Gruner and the editors of Volume 41 of the Journal for according me this recognition. I am also deeply grateful to my beloved friends and devoted colleagues, Columbia’s brilliant Professor Gerry Neuman and his wife Carol, for their three decades of friendship and for Gerry’s characteristically generous introduction at the Friedmann Banquet. My longtime friends and comrades-in-arms, Lou Henkin and Lori Fisler Damrosch, also graciously welcomed me to Columbia Law School and supported me warmly in receiving this award.

Finally, the Friedmann Award banquet marked my last occasion to see the great and gentle Oscar Schachter, a remarkable man and international lawyer. Oscar Schachter believed in a world without torture. It is to his memory that I dedicate this Essay.

Read Koh’s address.