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International Human Rights Law

International Human Rights Law (4th edn)

Daniel Moeckli, Sangeeta Shah, Sandesh Sivakumaran, and David Harris
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date: 30 November 2023

p. 60529. Terrorismlocked

p. 60529. Terrorismlocked

  • Martin Scheinin


This chapter first addresses the question of whether terrorism constitutes a violation of human rights, or whether the notion of human rights violations can only be applied to action by states, and then considers challenges to the applicability of human rights law in the fight against terrorism, particularly since 9/11. It focuses on the notion of terrorism, and in particular the risks posed to human rights protection by vague or over-inclusive definitions of terrorism. The main section of the chapter deals with some of the major challenges posed by counter-terrorism measures to substantive human rights protections. It is argued that the unprecedented post-9/11 wave of counter-terrorism laws and measures that infringed upon human rights was a unique situation, and that governments and intergovernmental organizations are realizing that full compliance with human rights in the fight against terrorism is not only morally and legally correct but is also the most effective way of combating terrorism in the long term.

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