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Torture Warrants, Necessity, and Self-Defense

Fritz Allhoff, Western Michigan University


This article explores a debate over the legal mechanisms by which interrogational torture could be sanctioned. Four separate proposals are considered, including: civil disobedience; torture warrants; self-defense; and necessity. Civil disobedience does not allow for legalized torture, but may allow for reduced punishments. Torture warrants contrast with self-defense and necessity in terms of offering ex ante, as opposed to ex post, authorization; arguments for and against either approach are considered. While there has been some legal scholarship in relation to torture warrants, less has been said about ex post justifications. This article ultimately defends the appropriateness of the necessity defense for torture, making both the moral and legal case for such a defense.

Suggested Citation

Fritz Allhoff. 2012. "Torture Warrants, Necessity, and Self-Defense" ExpressO
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/fritz_allhoff/2

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