NationStates Jolt Archive

Torture Issue

10-12-2003, 02:43
What I want to know, is who is left to decide what constitutes as cruel or unusual punishment? Who is going to be in charge of deciding this? The U.N. or the individual countries?
Oppressed Possums
10-12-2003, 03:26
Ideally, the nations shoud have the ultimate say but the nature of the UN proposal process, the UN has all say.
10-12-2003, 05:16
To the more refined, more conservative states, I'm sure "torture" is considered on a much more toned-down scale than those states who openly believe in toture. However, that's why I believe the UN should let each state decide this for themself, for if each nation has its own subjective view of the matter, it would obviously be impossible to outlaw something that can not be clearly defined. When things get fuzzy like this, it only leads to further dispute, so for now, we need a lezzai-fair approach.
10-12-2003, 14:23
From what I have seen, most of the U.N. Proposals are pretty vague and do not define what they are talking about, or if they do, they limit it. If the proposal passes as is, then no one will have any idea what is considered to be cruel or unusual punishment, or what is considered to be torture.

I do not want to give any body with control over my people’s rights a blanket law that could restrict their own freedoms and threaten the security of my nation and region.

Dict. Alexander Arinelen
Temporary Spokesman for the Arinelen Region.
10-12-2003, 15:02
I personally cannot support the motion against torture for the reasons I set out below, I urge everyone to think carefully about this proposal.

Individual rights also entail individual responsiblity to the community as a whole and to the soveriegn power. A right and a duty however are not moral creatures, morality and right and wrong exist outside of these parameters.

Take the right not to be tortured. It is a amalgamtion of many seperate rights, among them: the right to bodily and mental integrity, the right to avoid self-incrimination, the right not to be pained, or killed, the right to save one's life (wrongly reduced merely to the right to self-defense), the right to prolong one's life (e.g., by receiving medical attention), and the right not to be forced to lie under duress.

None of these rights is self-evident, or unambiguous, or universal, or immutable, or automatically applicable. It is safe to say, therefore, that these rights are not primary - but derivative, nonessential, or mere "wants" the way we'd like things to be, they are not of themselves devine.

The wider community and soveriegn also has rights which may justify the use of torture, this is often overlooked by liberals.

All these rights, the rights to live etcetera form a social contract, they are constantly ebbing and flowing between A, B and C but does A's right to life overrule C's right to justice if the only way justice can be fulfilled is A's death. In the case of an attack by A on B. Is B prevented from enforcing his right to life because of A's right to survive , NO. The same can be said of torture when mental pressure fails to exact a remedy then torture is justified.

As I've said the rights of an individual are not immutable, when one refuses to co-operate with the state , you are abbrogating the rights of others and have broken the social contract in most states you lose the rights of liberty, but you also lose the right to life and to be free from torture. There is a natural progression here. You welch on your side of the contract and you should suffer the consequence.

Moreover, torture is erroneously perceived by liberals as a kind of punishment. Suspects - innocent until proven guilty - indeed should not be subject to penalty. But torture is merely an interrogation technique. Ethically, it is no different to any other pre-trial process: shackling, detention, questioning, or bad press. Inevitably, the very act of suspecting someone is traumatic and bound to inflict pain and suffering - psychological, pecuniary, and physical - on the suspect.

Take the case of the ticking time bomb - there is a bomb in a location know only to the accused ticking down to detonation, all mental interrogation has failed and the accused refuses to help, should we not apply torture, or should we give his rights precedence over the rights of innocents?

For the above reasons I vote against this motion and urge others to do so to