Monash Law School academic offers a different perspective on torture

27 February 2014

A new book by Monash University Law School academic Dr Ronli Sifris, providing another angle on a feminist understanding of international human rights, will be launched in early March.

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The book, Reproductive Freedom, Torture and International Human Rights: Challenging the Masculinisation of Torture, examines restrictions on reproductive freedom through the lens of the right to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Dr Sifris said the book challenges the traditional notions of torture, as it deconstructs the meaning of torture from a feminist perspective.
“There is a myopic view that torture only takes place within the traditional paradigm of interrogation, punishment or intimidation of a detainee,” Dr Sifris said.
“This often prioritizes the experiences of men over those of women, given that the pain and suffering from which women disproportionately suffer occurs in situations outside of the context of these standard definitions, such as in circumstances of intimate partner violence for example.”
“My book focuses on restrictions on reproductive freedom within the framework of the right to be free from torture.”
Dr Sifris is an Associate of the Monash University Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. She received her LLB from Monash University where she was awarded the Supreme Court Prize for graduating first in her class and was the editor of the Monash University Law Review. She completed an LLM in International Legal Studies as a Hauser Scholar at NYU School of Law and a PhD at Monash.
Prior to commencing her PhD she worked as a consultant with the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York. She is admitted to practice in both Melbourne and New York.

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