The term “rendition” can bear a variety of meanings. At its widest, it can be used to refer to all mechanisms by which an individual who is in the hands of one state and is transferred into the hands of another; in this broad sense, it encompasses certain procedures for the transfer of individuals which are entirely legal and legitimate, such as extradition and deportation/expulsion.2 However, post-9/11 the term has become synonymous with the US practice of extra-legal apprehension of terrorist suspects present in the territory of other states and their removal, transfer and detention abroad. “Rendition” in this narrower sense is by no means an unprecedented phenomenon which sprang into existence following the events of 9/11. The United States had engaged in such covert actions abroad for some time prior to 2001.3 In particular, historically the US had on occasion engaged in operations having as their aim “rendition to justice”,4 by which individuals abroad were – whether with or without the consent or cooperation of the state in whose territory they were located5 – apprehended, detained and then transferred to the US in order to stand trial for drugtrafficking or terrorist offences.6 Further, under the Clinton administration, a programme of “Extraordinary Rendition” was instituted within the CIA with the specific objective of apprehending known high-ranking members of al-Qaeda and transporting them not to the US, but to third states where legal proceedings were outstanding against them.7 However, the objectives of such renditions before 9/11 were tightly circumscribed; in particular, under the “Extraordinary Rendition” programme, it was not envisaged that terrorist suspects would be either brought to the US or held in US custody and it appears that the collection of intelligence from the individuals rendered was not, as such, an objective.8