Terrorism and War

Posted: 18 Jun 2008

See all articles by Marco Sassòli

Marco Sassòli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 2006


This article discusses when terrorism can be classified as war (i.e. a use of force) under both ius ad bellum and ius in bello. It looks at how terrorist acts committed in a genuine armed conflict are prohibited and how those committing them must be treated under international humanitarian law (IHL). The article then analyses the relationship between armed conflicts, the laws of war and anti-terrorism instruments. It is argued that if behaviour in armed conflicts is included in the latter, only acts prohibited by IHL should be classified as terrorist, in particular if state behaviour is excluded from the definition of terrorism. Thus contradictions between IHL and international anti-terrorism law can be avoided. Finally, it is suggested that, de lege ferenda, it might be useful to define terrorist acts in peacetime by analogy to what is prohibited in wartime.

Suggested Citation

Sassòli, Marco, Terrorism and War (November 2006). Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 4, Issue 5, pp. 959-981, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1147486 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mql076

Marco Sassòli (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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