Institutionalizing torture in Israel: The Firas Tbeish decision. A commentary by John W. Schiemann, PhD
In her discussion of the court’s dismissal of the IP, she says there “is a legal system that discredits the IP’s potential while digging deeper into its own conception of torture.'' Shir has helped show that this is true more broadly of torture, beyond the IP. Indeed, I suspect the court may not view the IP as a “strange creature” causing “suspicion of the unfamiliar.” Instead, it may be by now a very familiar creature that threatens torture’s impunity in Israel, and what Shir shows is that the court has developed a systematic strategy to counter it. Torture is possible in Israel because the government and courts are complicit in deliberately creating a legal and institutional black hole where boundaries are ill-defined and obscure, and no light can shine.
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Firas Tbeish et al. v the Attorney General et al., HCJ 9018/17 (2018). Retrieved from http://stoptorture.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/F.-Tbeish-Ruling-Nov. 2018.ENG_.pdf
Public Committee Against Torture v State of Israel, HCJ 5100/94 (1999). Retrieved from https://supremedecisions.court.gov.il/Home/Download?path=EnglishVerdicts94
Firas Tbeish et al. v the Attorney General et al., HCJ 9105/15 (2018) (in Hebrew). Retrieved from http://stoptorture.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/החלטה-טביש-מתוקן-1.pdf
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Levinson, C. (2017, Jan 24). Torture, Israeli-style -- as Described by the Interrogators Themselves. Haaretz.. Retrieved from https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-style-torture-as-described-by-the-interrogators-themselves-1.5489853
Levinson, C. (2015, March 6). Torture of Palestinian Detainees by Shin Bet Investigators Rises Sharply. Haaretz. Retrieved from: https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-torture-by-shin-bet-investigators-rises-sharply-1.5332951.
Luban, D. (2005). Liberalism, Torture, and the Ticking Bomb. Virginia Law Review, 91, 1425-1461. Doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-4678-0_15
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