Of all protections against attacks on human dignity that are included in the canon of international human rights law, the prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment (CIDT) or punishment enjoys the broadest consensus among nations and societies. There is universal condemnation of the brutality involved in the deliberate infliction of pain and suffering on other human beings. Countries where torture is practiced despite this condemnation tend to deny the facts or to deny that “enhanced interrogation techniques” amount to torture. Cynical as such denials may be, they ratify the existence of a moral, legal, and political condemnation that is truly universal. That is why the right to physical and mental integrity—or the right to be free from torture—has been at the center of the development of international law on human rights that began after the end of World War II. In fact, one can trace the prohibition of torture even further, to the so-called Martens clause in the Hague Convention of 1899 that established that “… populations and belligerents remain under the protection and empire of the principles of the laws of humanity and the requirements of the public conscience” (Preamble, Hague II 1899; Preamble, Hague IV 1907). The prohibition of torture is one of a handful of international 2laws that are jus cogens, an imperative norm of international law from which no nation can depart because it is a constitutional provision of the international community, similar to the prohibition of the use of force between nations, the mandatory peaceful resolution of disputes, and the principle of nonintervention in internal affairs of other nations. In addition, the prohibition of torture is unanimously recognized as a customary international law norm. For these two reasons, it applies to all states and societies, regardless of whether or not they have ratified the relevant treaties. In that sense, the treaty norms to follow are considered to have codified obligations that exist beyond and before them; there is no sense, therefore, in a state claiming to be bound by them only from the date of ratification.