Forgiving Terrorism: Trading Justice for Peace, or Imperiling the Peace?
The University of Sydney Law School
FRESH PERSPECTIVES ON THE 'WAR ON TERROR', M. Gani and P. Mathew, eds., pp. 189-210, ANU E-Press, Canberra, 2008
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/126
There has been considerable ambivalence in the response of the international community and different national governments towards the problem of how to respond to individual terrorist acts and sustained campaigns of terrorist violence. Responses vacillate between a desire to punish and deter terrorists through the strict application of the criminal law, and counter impulses to temper or even suspend the application of the law to mitigate the potential harm from exceptional threats of extreme violence. This paper first outlines how international law has responded to the question of amnesties for serious international crimes, before extracting and elaborating some basic guidelines for their use. It then specifically examines whether terrorist acts raise similar or different considerations in relation to amnesties than other serious international crimes, before focusing on the impacts of terrorism amnesties on international security and justice issues.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: terrorism, international criminal law, amnesties, pardons, peace agreements, transitional justice, peace
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30, K33
Date posted: October 30, 2008