In the ancient Greece and Rome, the testimony of a slave would not be taken into account in a judicial investigation, unless the statement had been obtained after the subject was submitted to torture. Nowadays, although torture has been banned from legal systems and condemned at the international level, it continues to be widespread. There has been a semantic evolution of the word "torture" through the centuries, and this evolution has also had an impact on the concept itself. In that sense, as Peters points out, before the 17th Century, the definition was purely legal, and referred to as a "torment inflicted by a public authority for ostensibly public purposes". After that date, the definition started to be more moral. It then evolved into becoming a sentimental one since the 19th Century. What this evolution means is that torture is perceived more and more as a private element, which, according to Peters, is inaccurate. As far as he is concerned, torture belongs to the public sphere, and as an illustration, he provides a comparison between torture and execution, explaining that torture is "aggravated assault", when execution means "murder?. This distinction is the one that has also been made by the legislators and that is transcribed in the texts prohibiting torture. This also separates it from other "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".
[...] 103-119, p Mirko Bargaric, Julie Clarke, “Not enough official torture in the world? The circumstances in which torture is morally justifiable”, University of San Francisco Law Review (2005), pp. 581-616, p Mirko Bargaric, Julie Clarke, “Not enough official torture in the world? The circumstances in which torture is morally justifiable”, University of San Francisco Law Review (2005), pp. 581-616 Michael Levin, “The case for torture”, Newsweek Mirko Bargaric, Julie Clarke, “Not enough official torture in the world? The circumstances in which torture is morally justifiable”, University of San Francisco Law Review (2005), pp. [...]
[...] Bellamy, “No pain, no gain? Torture and ethics in the war on terror”, International Affairs, 82/1 (2006), pp. 121-148 • Marcy Strauss, “Torture”, New York Law School Review, 48/1&2 (2004), pp. 201-274 The Kreimer/Dershowitz debate • Seth F. Kreimer, “Too close to the rack and the screw: constitutional constraints on torture in the war on terror”, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (2003) • Alan M. Dershowitz: “Reply: torture without visibility and accountability is worse than with it”, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (2003), pp • Seth F. [...]
[...] The first is the United Nations Convention against torture of 1984 and which has been previously mentioned and quoted, and the European Convention for the prevention of torture of 1987. The question that arises therefore is the following: how can the persistence of the practice of torture worldwide be explained given this legal base of protection? In fact, it is easy to sidestep these rules in spaces of secrecy, through the creation of legal fictions like it will be observed further, and by adapting the methods. [...]
[...] Therefore, they conclude that torture is an “excellent technique” in interrogation. When it comes to Dershowitz, he also believes in the effectiveness of torture, and argues that the main reason it is still practiced all over the world is because it works. This common belief in the effectiveness of torture is not recent, although it is not relevant, as it will be argued in the third section. Because of this assumption, and of the importance of gathering information for the purposes of intelligence analysis, a long series of experiments have taken place for a long time in order to find the most effective means of coercive interrogation. [...]
[...] What is more, their argument remains utilitarian, and can therefore not be considered as a moral case for torture during interrogation. The “ticking bomb scenario” is not only an artificial situation in which the decisions taken are based on virtual consequences; it is also, as exposed by David Luban, “built on a set of assumptions that amounts to intellectual fraud. [ It] constructs a liberal ideology of torture, by which liberals reassure themselves that essential interrogational torture is detached from its illiberal roots” Walzer's theory of the dirty hands The views presented above, although they justify the use of torture in certain interrogations, are unanimous in admitting that torture itself is morally wrong. [...]
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