New York court declines to force probe of Guantanamo prison psychologist

[JURIST] A New York judge on Thursday dismissed a suit seeking to force an investigation of New York-licensed Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] psychologist Dr. John Leso for his development of interrogation techniques. The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) [advocacy websites] sued [JURIST report] the New York State Department of Education Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) [official website] last year to force a professional misconduct investigation. The OPD filed a motion to dismiss [motion, PDF] the case for lack of standing:

Petitioner's only claimed injury is that the OPD refused to investigate Dr. Leso based on [a previously filed] complaint. This is patently insufficient to constitute an "injury in fact," as petitioner fails to allege that he suffered an actual harm, much less one "different in kind or degree from that suffered by the public at large." ... Petitioner nowhere alleges that the OPD's decision personally impacted him or his practice.
Manhattan Civil Court Judge Saliann Scarpulla agreed, ruling the case does not meet state legal requirements for standing in challenging state government actions.

The lawsuit stemmed from the CJA's previously filed licensing complaint [text, PDF] against Leso. The OPD denied jurisdiction [ruling, PDF] over the complaint on the grounds that Leso's conduct was not consistent with the practice of psychology as defined under New York law, and therefore was not governed by New York rules of professional ethics. The complaint has been one of many condemnations of Guantanamo Bay medical professionals. One year before this complaint was filed, the International Committee of the Red Cross [official website] reported that medical professionals violated codes of medical ethics [JURIST report] by participating in and assisting in ill-treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

 

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