The Emergence of 'Terrorism' as a Distinct Category of International Law
University of Zurich, School of Law
November 10, 2008
Texas International Law Journal, Forthcoming
A considerable body of international norms, institutions and procedures specifically designed to deal with terrorism has emerged over the last few years. This body of international law increasingly bears the characteristics of a "special regime". At the same time, legal scholars have started to treat terrorism as a "branch" of international law in its own right, both in terms of research and teaching. This article argues that the emergence of a distinct category of "terrorism law" is due to reasons that are very different from those that account for the general trend towards the fragmentation and compartmentalization of international law. It is primarily the result of political pressure by certain powerful states to establish, at the international level, a separate legal system for terrorism that mirrors their own domestic special regimes, so as to give expression to the "international community's" sense of outrage at terrorist acts, stigmatize the perpetrators, and reassure the public. As these objectives can only be achieved if those who fall under the anti-terrorism regime are singled out for particularly harsh treatment, the special treatment model inevitably undermines the fundamental principle that all human beings deserve equal protection of the law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: terrorism, international law, special regime, fragmentation, equality
JEL Classification: K10, K33, K14Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 12, 2008
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.563 seconds