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Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and TortureA Philosophical Analysis$
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Fritz Allhoff

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226014838

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226014821.001.0001

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Ex Ante and Ex Post Justifications

Ex Ante and Ex Post Justifications

(p.174) (p.175) 8 Ex Ante and Ex Post Justifications
Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture

Fritz Allhoff

University of Chicago Press

This chapter concerns the legislative and judicial pragmatics of torture. In particular, if torture can be justified in exceptional cases, how should it be procedurally authorized? In the literature, there are three basic approaches to authorizing torture. The first is not to authorize it at all, which is to say that torture, even if justified, requires some sort of punishable civil disobedience. The second approach is to authorize torture ex ante, such as through torture warrants. On this approach, torture remains prohibited except when a judge grants permission for its application. Torture warrants have been recently defended by Alan Dershowitz, and his proposal is considered here. Finally, torture can be handled ex post. It remains illegal but can, nevertheless, be legally justified or excused. This chapter’s discussion will focus on the justifications of self-defense and necessity.

Keywords:   torture, civil disobedience, self-defense, torture warrants, justifications, Alan Dershowitz

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