In advancing into this essay, I shall discuss the history of prohibition of torture, the Utilitarian approach to torture which would include arguments and debates in favour of justification of torture by taking account of the ticking bomb hypothetical, a case study of Guantanamo Bay and the result of torturing terrorist suspects in recent times. This essay would also examine the deontology approach to torture and make recommendations on other means of getting information and truths from terrorist suspects.
BACKGROUND TO PROHIBITION ON TORTURE
Torture and other cruel or inhumane treatment has been internationally outlawed since the end of the Second World War and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated that 'No one shall be subjected torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment'. It allows for no exceptions under any circumstances. This prohibition can also be found in Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights, Article 5 (2) of the American Convention on Human Rights which are both binding on the United States.
In addition, Geneva Conventions III, IV and Optional Protocol I in Articles 17, 32 and 75(2) respectively prohibits physical or mental torture and any forms of coercion against a prisoner of war, they also prohibits an occupying power from torturing any protected persons and torture of all kinds and any other outrages on personal dignity, against anyone under any situation.
Also the 1984 Convention against Torture takes these general duties and conventions and codifies them into a more specific rule. It criminalizes torture and tries to prevent any exemptions for torturers by disallowing his access to every possible refuge. The convention states categorically that there will be no circumstances - peace time, war time, or even war against terror where torture would be permissible.
Importantly even before September 11, the International...