Beyond the Law of the Enemy: Recovering from the Failures of the Global War on Terrorism Through (Criminal) Law
Processi Storici e Politiche di Pace / Historical Processes and Peace Politics, No. 5, 2008, pp. 59 - 81
25 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2008
The article shows the large-scale effects of the world-wide application of a ‘criminal law of the enemy’ by the US and its Allies, following the 9/11 attacks. In the first instance, such a new body of law is aimed at neutralize or prosecute terrorist suspects all over the world. However, the impasse of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the small number of convictions for the crime of terrorism and the rising criticism against blacklists suggest a chance of course in the approach taken by state authorities to tackle the phenomenon, at both international and national level. The lack of results is indeed to be imputed, first and foremost, to the ideological character of the Global War on Terrorism. In all probability, far better results would be achieved, if only terrorism were considered a simple (but complex) transnational criminal phenomenon, to be tackled through criminal investigations. This would entail abandoning the ‘friend or foe’ paradigm which has so far inspired most of anti-terrorism laws and policies.
Keywords: Afghanistan, Criminal Law of the Enemy, Global War on Terrorism, International Terrorism, Iraq
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