My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
The defence argues that it would breach Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights to order extradition of this defendant to South Africa. It would breach Article 2 if there is known to be a real risk to Mr Dewani of loss of life in the receiving 45 country. To establish Article 3 the defence must show that there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that the requested person will be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the requesting state. In each case it is necessary to show there where the risk is from non-state agents, that there is in addition a lack of reasonable protection in the receiving country. It is common ground that an assessment must be made according to the specific circumstances as they would apply to Mr Dewani rather than generalized concerns. A high threshold is required to establish Article 3. The ill-treatment must necessarily be serious such that it is an affront to fundamental humanitarian principles to remove an individual to a country where he is at risk of serious ill-treatment. – Judge Howard Riddle in judgment in the Shrien Dewani extradition caseBACK TO TOP