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Humans Rights - World Torture - Essay Example

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Freedom from torture is recognized as a high priority fundamental right in international human rights standards. The freedom from torture is expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1976 and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel…
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Humans Rights - World Torture
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Download file to see previous pages Nagan and Atkins (2001) inform that torture was not always a defined prohibition in international, national and regional legal regimes. On the contrary, historically, social order dictated that those who were charged with the responsibility of engineering the social order were willing to “use torture as an instrument” for exercising “effective control over others” (p. 92). Complicating matters, elements of culture, religion and ideology supported the use of torture by those in power. As a result torture was previously implicitly tolerated as necessary for promoting and safeguarding the larger interest of society. As Nagan and Atkins (2001) explain:
...the predisposition to torture requires for its efficacy that it be displaced on public enemies with a religious, cultural, or ideological mechanism of overt or tacit validation of an alleged community interest (usually public order, security, or law and order) (p. 92)
At common law, torture was an established part of the legal process. It was used for the administration of oaths and proof of the truth of a matter could be established by the use of torture. The trial by ordeal stands as a manifestation of the historical support of the judicial use of torture. Langbein (2006) the use of “judicial torture” under the Roman-Cannon statutory regime which permitted “the use of physical coercion by offers of the state” for the purpose of gathering “evidence for judicial proceedings” (p. 3)....
92) At common law, torture was an established part of the legal process. It was used for the administration of oaths and proof of the truth of a matter could be established by the use of torture. The trial by ordeal stands as a manifestation of the historical support of the judicial use of torture. Langbein (2006) the use of “judicial torture” under the Roman-Cannon statutory regime which permitted “the use of physical coercion by offers of the state” for the purpose of gathering “evidence for judicial proceedings” (p. 3). State officials using torture pursuant to the truth and for maintaining the social order often rationalized the use of torture in other ways. It was largely believed that the tortured would be redeemed and thus experience some form of “moral cleansing” (Nagan and Atkins 2001, p. 92). Essentially, torture found currency with states on the basis that it was necessary for discovering the truth. The pain associated with torture was also rationalized on the basis that it benefitted the tortured by providing “moral and spiritual” benefits (Nagan and Atkins 2001, p. 92). Waisel (2010) explains that torture was legal for “long periods of history” (p. 280). Foot (2009) identifies four primary reasons that torture was historically used as a legal instrument of social control and order. Firstly, torture was used by the state pursuant to an ideology that accepted that subhuman factions existed. For instance, Greeks and Romans believed that torture was the best method for abstracting truth from slaves. Secondly, torture was believed to be the best method for obtaining the truth. Thirdly, there was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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