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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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Part IV—Introduction

Part IV—Introduction

(p.269) 17 Part IV—Introduction
Why Not Torture Terrorists?

Yuval Ginbar

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces Part IV, where three issues raised by the discussion of the models in Part III are to be examined. The question of whether or not the interrogation methods used in the US and Israeli models constitute torture under international legal definitions or are even unlawful at all, for instance as ‘cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment’ is discussed first, followed by an analysis of the ‘defence of necessity’ as a putative basis for exempting torturers in ticking bomb situations from criminal responsibility. This issue will be analysed both in the context of national and international criminal law. Thirdly, in concluding this Part, the applicability of that defence and other ex post mechanisms to the reality of states facing terrorism in the early 21st century will be discussed.

Keywords:   torture, legal aspects, practical aspects, ill-treatment, defence of necessity, criminal law, terrorism prevention

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