Norma relacionada
Sri Lanka
Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Section B. Definitions
Sri Lanka’s Convention against Torture Act (1994) states:
“torture” with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means any act which causes severe pain, whether physical or mental, to any other person, being an act which is –
(a) done for any of the following purposes that is to say –
(i) obtaining from such other person or a third person, any information or confession; or
(ii) punishing such other person for any act which he or a third person has committed, or is suspected of having committed; or
(iii) intimidating or coercing such other person or a third person; or
(b) done for any reason based on discrimination,
and being in every case, an act which is done by, or at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of, a public officer or other person acting in an official capacity. 
Sri Lanka, Convention against Torture Act, 1994, Section 12.
In its judgment in the Channa Pieris case in 1994, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka stated: “Torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment may take many forms, psychological and physical.” 
Sri Lanka, Supreme Court, Channa Pieris case, Judgment, 17 June 1994, p. 6.
In 2004, in its second periodic report to the UN Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
6. Act No. 22 of 1994 designates and defines torture as a specific crime. The High Court of Sri Lanka is vested with the jurisdiction for offences of torture committed by a Sri Lankan or a non-Sri Lankan in or outside the territory of the country. Criminal proceedings are instituted upon indictment being preferred against the accused by the Attorney-General. With the introduction of this Act the Extradition Law was also amended by designating the offence of torture as an extraditable offence under the Extradition Law in order to provide an “extradite or prosecute” regime, as envisaged in the Convention.
77. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Punishment Act No. 22 of 1994 is in substantial conformity with the Convention against Torture. The Act defines torture as follows:
“‘Torture’ with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means any act which causes severe pain, whether physical or mental, to any other person, being an act which is done for any of the following purposes that is to say:
“(i) Obtaining from such other person or a third person, any information or confession; or
“(ii) Punishing such other person for any act which he or a third person has committed, or is suspected of having committed; or
“(iii) Intimidating or coercing such other person or a third party; or
“(iv) Done for any reason based on discrimination, and being in every case, an act which is done by, or other person acting in an official capacity.”
78. Sri Lanka has taken note of the point made that the word “suffering” does not appear in the definition of the term “torture” in section 12 of the Act. It is of the view, however, that the expression “cause severe pain whether physical or mental” would necessarily include any suffering that is caused to any person. It is also submitted that the judicial interpretation of the term “torture” would take into account any suffering, physical or mental, that any person would be subjected to. Furthermore, the Sri Lanka courts have always maintained that in the interpretation of any domestic law giving effect to Sri Lanka’s international obligations, the court would necessarily give expression to the provisions of the relevant international legal instruments. 
Sri Lanka, Second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 6 August 2004, UN Doc. CAT/C/48/Add.2, submitted 29 March 2004, §§ 6 and 77–78; see also § 82.
In 2009, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
The Government of Sri Lanka is of the opinion that the definition of torture under its domestic law covers all the elements contained in article 1 of the [1984] Convention [against Torture]. Although the word suffering “is not specifically mentioned in the definition of torture in [Convention against Torture] Act No. 22 of 1994”, the Government is of the view that the words “severe pain whether physical or mental” invariably encompasses “suffering” both in its physical and mental forms. Therefore Sri Lanka is of the view that its definition is consistent with the definition of torture contained in the Convention. It has to be noted that purely mental torture is also included within the definition, so that the threat of torture may itself amount to psychological torture. Further the Government notes that Manfred Nowak in his report of February 2008 … [“]observes that the definition in article 12 [of the Convention against Torture Act] is in conformity with the definition of article 1 of the Convention: however, it does not expressly include suffering”. This is a clear indication that despite the lack of the term “suffering” the Convention against Torture Act No. 22 of 1994 (CAT Act) is consistent with the definition of the Convention. Professor Novak also states: According to this Act, torture is defined under article 12, which in principle corresponds to article 1 of the Convention, as any act which causes severe pain, whether physical or mental, to any other person, being an act, which is
(a) Done for any of the following purposes that is to say:
(i) Obtaining from such other person or a third person, any information or confession; or
(ii) Punishing such other person for any act which he or a third person has committed, or is suspected of having committed; or
(iii) Intimidating or coercing such other person or a third person; or
(b) Done for any reason based on discrimination and being in every case, … an act which is done by, or at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of, a public officer or other person acting in an official capacity. 
Sri Lanka, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, 23 September 2010, UN Doc. CAT/C/LKA/3-4, submitted 17 August 2009, § 15.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Sri Lanka also stated:
8. Article 1, paragraph 1 of the [1984] Convention [against Torture] defines the term torture. The definition of torture, under article 12 of the CAT [Convention against Torture] Act “… is in conformity with article 1 of the Convention …” and is in fact wider than that of the Convention. Under the CAT Act of Sri Lanka, for an act to be torture, it need not be intentionally inflicted as required under the Convention. Thus, the CAT Act contains “provisions of wider application” with regard to torture, than those stipulated in the Convention. …
9. Concerns were raised in the past by the Committee against Torture that the definition of torture in the CAT Act does not refer to the word “suffering”, unlike in article 1, paragraph 1 of the Convention. Sri Lanka has taken note of this observation and is of the view however that the expression “cause severe pain whether physical or mental” would necessarily include any suffering that is caused to any person.
10. The judicial interpretation of the term “torture” would take into account any suffering, physical or mental, that any person would be subject to. It is increasingly evident that in the interpretation of domestic law giving effect to Sri Lanka’s international obligations, the Court would necessarily give expression to the provisions of the relevant international legal instruments. 
Sri Lanka, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, 23 September 2010, UN Doc. CAT/C/LKA/3-4, submitted 17 August 2009, §§ 8–10; see also § 12 of the Annex.
[footnote in original omitted]