Israel and the Recognition of Torture: Domestic and International Aspects

TORTURE AS TORT: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LITIGATION, pp. 631-658, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2001

28 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2006

See all articles by Amnon Reichman

Amnon Reichman

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

Tsvi Kahana

Queen's University

Abstract

This essay address the Israeli Supreme Court decision holding that the use of physical force by the General Security Service (GSS) in the course of its interrogations of terror suspects was unauthorized by Israeli law. The Court ruled that, in the absence of explicit enabling legislation, the GSS investigators' general interrogative powers do not encompass the power to resort to the use of force. At the same time, the Court asserted that in "ticking bomb" situations (as defined by the Court), the necessity defense against criminal conviction was available to an interrogator who employed such methods, provided that no other means were available to save human lives and that the means resorted to was no more than was absolutely necessary to obtain the information needed to diffuse the bomb. In this article we analyze this decision from a legal standpoint and given Israeli political realities.

Keywords: TORT ACTIONS, General Security Service, physical force, Israeli law, ticking bomb, necessity defense

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14, K19, K32, K33, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Reichman, Amnon and Kahana, Tsvi, Israel and the Recognition of Torture: Domestic and International Aspects. TORTURE AS TORT: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LITIGATION, pp. 631-658, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=906600

Amnon Reichman (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

Tsvi Kahana

Queen's University ( email )

Kingston, Ontario
Canada

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