Torture and an ethics of responsibility

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


May torture ever be morally or legally justified or excused? This article argues that an absolute legal ban on torture ought to be maintained. However, in truly catastrophic cases the appropriate method of tackling extremely grave national dangers and threats may call for going outside the legal order. The way to deal with the "extreme" or "catastrophic" case is neither by ignoring it nor by using it as the center-piece for establishing general, ex ante, policies. Rather, the focus is on the possibility that truly exceptional cases may give rise to official disobedience: Public officials may act extralegally and be ready to accept the legal ramifications of their actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalLaw, Culture and the Humanities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 26 2009

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