Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights in the UK

Posted: 25 Jun 2013

See all articles by Clive Walker

Clive Walker

University of Leeds - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS)

Date Written: July 4, 2012


Chapter 22 of Marie Breen-Smyth, Ashgate Companion to Political Violence (2012): Within the dominion of counter-terrorism, policy choices can be stark. One must determine in institutional terms whether the response is to be predominantly military or policing and, cutting across that boundary, who is to generate and own intelligence and where financial support should be directed. There are also choices to be made in corresponding legal regimes around counter-terrorism, ranging from the rules of war and legal states of emergency through to nuanced versions of criminal justice. These counter-terrorism policy choices can determine not only the nature of a society whilst it deals with terrorism, but also, as illustrated by the variant experiences of countries such as South Africa or Sri Lanka, compared to Germany and Italy, the nature of that society and its residual scars if and when it emerges from terrorism. It is the thesis of this chapter that human rights discourse has grown in importance as a determinant of counter-terrorist strategic choices and modes of tactical delivery. The meaning and impact of this will be assessed alongside other normative considerations such as democratic accountability.

Keywords: Terrorism, human rights

JEL Classification: K10, K33, K19, K42, N40

Suggested Citation

Walker, Clive, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights in the UK (July 4, 2012). Available at SSRN:

Clive Walker (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS) ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
44 (0) 113 3435022 (Phone)
44 (0) 113 3435056 (Fax)


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