Torture warrants, self-defence, and necessity

Francis Allhoff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article explores a debate over the legal mechanisms by which interrogational torture could be sanctioned. Four separate proposals are considered, including: civil disobedience; torture warrants; self-defense; and necessity. Civil disobedience does not allow for legalized torture, but may allow for reduced punishments. Torture warrants contrast with self-defense and necessity in terms of offering ex ante, as opposed to ex post, authorization; arguments for and against either approach are considered. While there has been some legal scholarship in relation to torture warrants, less has been said about ex post justifications. This article ultimately defends the appropriateness of the necessity defense for torture, making both the moral and legal case for such a defense.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-240
    Number of pages24
    JournalPublic Affairs Quarterly
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


    Dive into the research topics of 'Torture warrants, self-defence, and necessity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this