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Terror/Torture


Karima Bennoune


University of California, Davis - School of Law

June, 19 2008

Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 1-61, 2008
Rutgers School of Law-Newark Research Papers No. 032

Abstract:     
In the face of terrorism, human rights law's requirement that states "respect and ensure" rights necessitates that states take active steps to safeguard their populations from violent attack, but in so doing do not violate rights. Security experts usually emphasize the aspect of ensuring rights while human rights advocates largely focus on respecting rights. The trick, which neither side in the debate has adequately referenced, is that states have to do both at the same time. In contrast to these largely one-sided approaches, adopting a radical universalist stance, this Article argues that both contemporary human rights and security discourses on terrorism must be broadened and renewed. This renewal must be informed by the understanding that international human rights law protects the individual both from terrorism and the excesses of counter-terrorism, like torture. To develop this thesis, the Article explores the philosophical overlap between both terrorism and torture and their normative prohibitions. By postulating new discourses around the paradigm of terror/torture, it begins the project of creating a new human rights approach to terrorism.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 62

Keywords: Human rights, terrorism, torture, security, human security, armed conflict, religious extremism, fundamentalism, United Nations, international law, women's human rights, Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs, non-state actors, universality

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Date posted: June 21, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Bennoune, Karima, Terror/Torture (June, 19 2008). Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 1-61, 2008; Rutgers School of Law-Newark Research Papers No. 032. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1148284

Contact Information

Karima Bennoune (Contact Author)
University of California, Davis - School of Law
Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA 95616-5201
United States
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