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Brutality in an Age of Human RightsActivism and Counterinsurgency at the End of the British Empire$
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Brian Drohan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714658

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714658.001.0001

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A Lawyers’ War

A Lawyers’ War

Emergency Legislation and the Cyprus Bar Council

(p.16) Chapter 1 A Lawyers’ War
Brutality in an Age of Human Rights

Brian Drohan

Cornell University Press

Chapter one analyzes how Greek Cypriot lawyers from the Cyprus Bar Council attempted to restrain British actions during the Cyprus Emergency. In line with other post-war counterinsurgencies, colonial governor John Harding enacted strict emergency regulations designed to facilitate counterinsurgency operations by restricting the population rather than the security forces. In response, Greek Cypriot lawyers contested this legislation by lobbying colonial officials and British politicians—with help from British lawyers such as Peter Benenson—to limit repressive regulations; defending accused insurgents in court; and documenting British abuses—including torture during interrogation. By challenging the extent and applicability of emergency laws, Greek Cypriot lawyers forced British officials to defend Britain’s reputation in public.

Keywords:   Cyprus Emergency, emergency regulations, torture, interrogation, Cyprus Bar Council, John Harding, Peter Benenson

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