The Crime of Terrorism and the Right of Revolution in International Law
55 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2013 Last revised: 23 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2013
The revolution you dream of is not ours. You don't want to change the world, you want to blow it up. -- Jean-Paul Sartre, Dirty Hands (1948).
In this Article the author discusses the problem of how to distinguish terrorists and freedom fighters by offering a new perspective on the matter: the constitutional and international law concept of the right of revolution.
The Article contains a historical and a comparative constitutional analysis which lead to the recognition of terrorism as a crime under international law and of the right of revolution as a general principle of law. The Article addresses legal issues arising in some of the major contemporary events from 9/11 to Arab Spring Uprisings (with a special focus on Syria) as well as the 2011 interlocutory decision of the Special tribunal for Lebanon. Finally, the analysis provides criteria of when and how a revolutionary use of force is justified.
Keywords: terrorism, right of revolution, right to resistance, right to rebellion
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