U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques [Updated February 10, 2005] [open pdf - 93KB]
"The United States ratified CAT, subject to certain declarations, reservations, and understandings, including that the Convention was not self-executing and therefore required domestic implementing legislation to be enforced by U.S. courts. In order to ensure U.S. compliance with CAT obligations to criminalize all acts of torture, the United States enacted sections 2340 and 2340A of the United States Criminal Code, which prohibit torture occurring outside the United States (torture occurring inside the United States was already prohibited under several federal and state statutes of general application prohibiting acts such as assault, battery, and murder). The applicability and scope of these statutes were the subject of widely-reported memorandums by the Department of Defense and Department of Justice in 2002. In late 2004, the Department of Justice released a memorandum superseding its earlier memo and modifying some of its conclusions."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32438