According to this SMH report, two Australian academics are advocating the legalisation of torture, including the torture of innocent people who [their interrogators believe] might have useful information. If the SMH report is to be believed, the supporting ‘argument’ is just our old (and multiply-refuted) friend, the ‘ticking-bomb’ scenario. (Here’s my response, and here’s a fairly typical instance of the way the ticking-bomb scenario is used in practice to justify routine and prolonged torture.
I find it difficult to believe that this report can be accurate and I certainly hope it isn’t. The views of Bagaric and Clarke are spelt out in this opinion piece, which is as lame and morally obtuse as you might expect. A quick Google reveals that Bagaric is a Part-time member, Refugee Review Tribunal and Migration Review Tribunal, which is certainly inappropriate for someone who apparently advocates sticking needles under the fingernails of innocent suspects. At least, that was what this Age report said when I checked it an hour ago, but the relevant passage has now disappeared.
fn1. This was a case in Israel, but I don’t want to discuss the Israel-Palestine issue here. Any comments on this issue, or on the fact that there are other countries that do far worse, and don’t have courts to appeal to, will be deleted.