Righteous torturer: a discussion on the legalisation of torture as a counterterrorist strategy in a democracy during the religious wave of terror
De Freitas, Stephanie
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Following the aftermath of the terror attacks in September 2001, a heightened wave of religious terror spread worldwide as terrorist organisations transitioned from threatening domestic security concerns to violent regional terrorisations. In response to a series of recent transnational attacks, this paper facilitates various discussions on whether democratic states should permit non-lethal investigative torture in an effort to strengthen national security against terrorism. To examine this controversial topic, an equally controversial theory supported by legal theorist, Professor Alan Dershowitz, is presented to evaluate whether a democratic society which authorises the implementation of investigative torture to counterterrorism, could do so under the cover of law. In this paper an analysis of the application of a torture warrant system as a counterterrorism alternative is applied in the case study of Israel, to determine whether torture could be justified and deemed appropriate when faced with a ‘ticking bomb’ scenario. This evaluation is supported by various academic points of view together with a range of opinions, and concludes with a possible alternative to strengthen democracies against the present threat of violent religious terrorism.