Essay Example on Numerous agencies around the world such as the CIA as well as agencies within the European Union have exercising torture









Numerous agencies around the world such as the CIA as well as agencies within the European Union have exercising torture and having this in mind then arguably it could be a good step forward to qualify Article 3 of the ECHR and allow for torture to be used in certain circumstances and under certain strict criteria Identifying the use of techniques such as torture as a beneficial tool in the process of interrogation and legalizing such use would mean more scrutiny of its use and more strict and clear boundaries to be set as to what may be used At the moment no such boundaries exist as torture is prohibited completely however as mentioned above and as widely known it is being used covertly by multiple agencies in multiple jurisdictions The idea of torture being used as a weapon against terrorism has been strongly rejected and opposed by numerous academics who even go to the far extreme of saying that torture is essentially a form of terrorism and go as far as equating the two concepts Bennoune argues that torture is the same thing as terrorism arguing that the similarities between the practices of terror and torture are significant and defining These include the visitation of severe pain on victims the intentionality of doing so and the tremendous fear deliberately provoked in victims survivors and those around them 

The human rights afforded by the ECHR still operate and should precede any other consideration even when we are under the threat of terrorism and such rights should not be compromised in any event regardless of the situation requiring essentially the states to take steps to ensure the safety of their people from violent terrorist attacks while maintaining their respect for human rights preventing their violation in any way We should have in mind that the problem of terrorism is a major worldwide issue noting and taking into account that most countries respond to terrorism with terrorism killings and war In the view of academics such as Bennoune this form of counter terrorism should be acknowledged as a global problem requiring immediate attention and resolution by itself as it violates fundamental human rights protected under the ECHR and through this acts of retaliation a state is essentially committing an act of terrorism itself not much different from the one the state has suffered At the moment it appears that the opinion of academics such as Bennoune is more widely accepted with several reports criticizing Governments for curtailing numerous human rights afforded by the European Convention on Human Rights both de jure and de facto leading to the undermining of the rule of law in a manner that terrorists could never have achieved by themselves 

There are of course other opinions differing to that of Bennoune for example Oren Gross contends that in certain situations the benefits deriving from the use of torture are much greater than the costs resulting from the use of torture Oren Gross at the American Society of International Law annual meeting in 2005 asked his audience to admit that in the event their children were kidnapped they would strongly support and demand for the abductors to be tortured in order for information about the location of the abducted children to be elicited Alan Dershowitz shares a similar view to that of myself and of Oren Gross going as far as to urge for the production of judicial torture warrants in order to legalise the use of torture under certain extreme as he calls them circumstances Even though Oren Gross does not agree with the legalisation of torture supporting an absolute legal ban of the use of torture he holds that a ticking bomb situation should provide a basis for justifying the use of torture or at least a mitigation for the guilty parties for the use of torture

Bennoune is a strong advocate standing against the views expressed by academics such as Dershowitz and Oren Gross arguing that Gross logic is akin to that of defenders of terrorism who argue that such violence is tragic but necessary to save lives or end murderous occupations Bennoune makes reference to arguments brought forward by well known terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden One of the main issues that would arise with the use of torture if it was to be accepted that it is justifiable for such techniques to be used in matters of national security would be the effectiveness of its use The Senate Select Committee Report on the use of torture by the CIA concludes that based on a review of CIA interrogation records that the use of the CIA s enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of obtaining accurate information or gaining detainee cooperation Further studies should be conducted on the matter to review the effectiveness of such techniques worldwide however in my view if the use of torture not resulting in the use of lethal force in any way would result in the saving of even a single life then it is worth pursuing the use and legalisation of such techniques

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