Legitimacy and State Responses to Terrorism: The UK and France
ch 9 in 'Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: An International Exploration' Tankebe, J. and Liebling, A. (eds) (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
49 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 12, 2013
The legitimacy of the state’s response to terrorism in the UK and in France might be challenged at a number of levels. Whilst the stated aim of both jurisdictions is to deal with terrorism through the ordinary criminal law, the, often exceptional, measures enacted through both criminal law and procedure make the response far from ordinary. Furthermore, the response has included controversial non-criminal measures restricting the liberty of suspected terrorists where it is claimed that the sensitive nature of the evidence prevents prosecution. The justification for these wider police powers, attenuated suspects’ rights, broad and ill-defined criminal offences, forms of preventive detention, and the increased role for intelligence, is that we now face a new and different kind of threat, one that merits a new and different response. Britain and to a lesser extent France, have bought into the post 9/11 conception that this is beyond crime; this is a war against terror.
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