Title of research: Terror and Torture in the Wake of 9/11: Legality in Response to Terrorism and in Striking New Balances in the Separation of Powers.
Promotor: Prof. M. Hildebrandt
Somewhere in an American city a bomb has been planted. The terrorist is in custody, but refuses to talk. When the bomb explodes, it will kill many people. Given this certainty, would we torture the terrorist in order to extract a confession? In the light of this and similar scenarios, absolute prohibitionists are gradually being tempted to accept the notion of torture in order to preserve the greater good. Considering that in European countries such as the Netherlands a ban on torture is the norm, can we be challenged into rethinking the absolute ban on torture, as the US seems to have done? Is torture legal in the US, or is it simply not an issue in the political arena and therefore ignored? How is the judicial branch to respond to state-administered torture, and how is it to deal with detainees still being held without trial in American-controlled prisons? These questions still concern contemporary issues, even after 12 years of war on terror, and are waiting to be answered.
Wietse Buijs holds an L.LM. in legal theory, specialising in Philosophy of Law and Human rights. After writing his thesis on the subject of the violation of Habeas Corpus by American presidents throughout US history, Wietse felt that PhD research on terror and torture in the wake of 9/11 was an appropriate theme to explore. In addition to his PhD research, which he is carrying out in his spare time, Wietse is currently working full time for ESL as a teacher and as a project manager for ESL's digital learning environment.