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Forgiving Terrorism: Trading Justice for Peace, or Imperiling the Peace?

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

16 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2008  

Ben Saul

The University of Sydney Law School

Abstract

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.

Keywords: terrorism, international criminal law, amnesties, pardons, peace agreements, transitional justice, peace

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Saul, Ben, Forgiving Terrorism: Trading Justice for Peace, or Imperiling the Peace?. 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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1292116

Ben Saul (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.usyd.edu.au/about/staff/BenSaul/index.shtml

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