Ireland v. UK: Revisiting the Treatment of the 'Hooded Men'

The Irish government announced this week that it is applying to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to re-open the case it instigated in the early 1970s against the UK government concerning the treatment in detention of fourteen IRA suspects, following their arrest by the British army under internment powers. 

 In its 1978 judgment in the interstate case of Ireland v. UK, the court found the use of five interrogation techniques (wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and drink) violated the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 3 [PDF] of the European Convention on Human Rights, but did not constitute torture. The prior decision in the case by the European Commission of Human Rights had, by contrast, found such treatment to amount to torture.