New book offers a different perspective on torture

Ronli Sifris

A new book by Castan Centre Associate Dr Ronli Sifris, providing another angle on a feminist understanding of international human rights, will be launched in early March.

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, a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, 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 prioritises 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 an 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 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 University.

Prior to commencing her PhD she worked as a consultant with the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York. She is admitted to practice in both Melbourne and New York.

Dr Sifris has published numerous articles and book chapters and has presented her work at various events and conferences.

Reproductive Freedom, Torture and International Human Rights: Challenging the Masculinisation of Torture was published by Routledge on 4 December 2013 as part of their Routledge Research in Human Rights Law series. The book  will be launched on Wednesday 5 March 2014, 6 to 7.30pm, at the Supreme Court of VIctoria Library, 210 William Street, Melbourne CBD.

This article was first published in Monash Memo. Read the original article.

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