Definition of 'Terrorism' in the UN Security Council: 1985-2004
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
Chinese Journal of International Law, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 141-166, 2005
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/111
International debate about the problems of defining terrorism historically centred on the General Assembly. Yet, between 1985 and 2001, the Security Council adopted a range of measures addressing terrorist threats to peace and security, and analysis of the incidents involved reveals much about the Council's understanding of "terrorism". After September 2001, problems of definition became acute, since the Council adopted general legislative measures against terrorism - with serious legal consequences - without defining it. The Council has encouraged States to unilaterally define terrorism in national law, permitting wide and divergent definitions. A non-binding Council definition of late 2004 fails to remedy the serious difficulties caused by the lack of an operative definition in Council practice.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: definition, terrorism, international law, United Nations, Security Council
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 2, 2008
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