August 17, 2006, on this blog: 3.14159265 …
The legal framework provided by the Geneva Conventions is not the only, nor the primary, reason that torture is unacceptable. The Third Geneva Convention was officially adopted in 1929 (and revised in 1949), putting this legal framework into place.
Does that mean that torture was OK — permissible, acceptable, human and humane — before 1929?
No. The Third Geneva Convention did not create the prohibition against torture, but rather acknowledged it and enshrined it in international law. This legal recognition of the prohibition is a source of authority for its enforcement, but it is not, in itself, the source of the prohibition.
What, then, is that source?
The prohibition against torture arises from the dignity of the individual, which exists independent from and prior to any legal framework, national or international.
Some people know this, and some do not.