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Why Not Torture Terrorists?Moral, Practical, and Legal Aspects of the "Ticking Bomb" Justification for Torture$
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Yuval Ginbar

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199540914

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199540914.001.0001

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The Landau Model in Israel

The Landau Model in Israel

(p.171) 12 The Landau Model in Israel
Why Not Torture Terrorists?

Yuval Ginbar

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes and analyzes the Landau model of legalized torture, under which interrogation of suspected terrorists was regulated in Israel between 1987 and 1999, with Supreme Court approval. Shaped by the recommendations of the Landau Commission of Inquiry, which included detailed instructions to interrogators on applying psychological ‘pressure’ and ‘a moderate measure of physical pressure’, the model claimed that such instructions are lawful under the ‘defence of necessity’ provision in the Penal Law, which applies to them. Many thousands of Palestinians, far outweighing the number of those convicted of any terrorist offences during the period, underwent the Landau interrogation methods, pronounced by UN bodies to amount to torture. Methods included various combinations of incommunicado detention, sleep and sensory deprivation, forced painful positions, ‘shaking’, and other humiliating or violent methods. Those applying the techniques according to instructions invariably enjoyed impunity from prosecution.

Keywords:   torture, legal aspects, ticking bomb situation, practical aspects, Israel, defence of necessity, Supreme Court, torture models, terrorism prevention, interrogation methods

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