The Equivalent Logic of Torture and Terrorism: The Legal Regulation of Moral Monstrosity

TERRORISM AND TORTURE, S. Lewandowski et al, eds., Institute of Advanced Studies, USA, 2008

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/113

24 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2008  

Ben Saul

The University of Sydney Law School

Abstract

Paradoxically, justifications for State torture and non-State terrorism are strikingly similar, often drawing on the same underlying logic, reasoning, ethics, politics, ideology and philosophy. This chapter explores the range of claims, justifications and excuses which have been invoked to support arguments for torture and terrorism, including ideas about the defence of human rights, asymmetry of power, the simultaneous antiquity and malleability of the law, and exceptional doctrines such as 'necessity'. While the absolute prohibition of torture in international law is appropriate and ought to be defended, by contrast there are considerable inadequacies in the legal regulation of terrorism, resulting in the complicity of international law in repressing legitimate struggles against political oppression.

Suggested Citation

Saul, Ben, The Equivalent Logic of Torture and Terrorism: The Legal Regulation of Moral Monstrosity. ; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/113. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1277548

Ben Saul (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.usyd.edu.au/about/staff/BenSaul/index.shtml

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