Torture Is Never Justified: With Special Emphasis On The Ticking Time Bomb Case Study

Torture Is Never Justified: With Special Emphasis On The Ticking Time Bomb Case Study

Nihshank Upadhyay

Law Student, 4th Year, BA.LL.B. (Hons.), Jindal Global Law School.

Torture is never justified, no matter who the victim is or what the circumstances are. It is a cruel and inhuman practice that has no place in the civilized world.” – Kofi Annan. No one “shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment,” according to Article 5 of the UDHR and it resonates with Article 7 of the ICCPR which seeks to prevent and prohibit the same. The use of torture by state agents is typically directed toward a specific aim and used to further ‘more important goals’. This is akin to the notion that dehumanization might be a part of genocidal plans. For instance, a government may frequently utilize torture to terrorize its people and suppress dissent or other anti-government behaviour. Torture is categorically forbidden. This is consistent with Amnesty International’s claim that torture can be seen as a “price of dissent,” a distressingly common terror tactic used by oppressive authoritarian regimes to uphold a particular power structure or ideology and guarantee the rule of those in power. Historical examples like Stalin’s Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Maoist China serve as stark and tragic illustrations of the widespread and systematic use of torture. They underscore the need for international human rights standards to prevent such atrocities in a century marked by numerous instances of such brutality. In light of these standards, this research essay has a three-fold purpose. I start by addressing the problems with torture. We would then look at justifications for torture, particularly the ticking bomb case study. Finally, we would then go on to show why the arguments, even if they might seem pertinent on the peripheral, fall flat when closely scrutinized. 

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