International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages

United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law, Historical Archives, 2014

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 14/105

12 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2014

See all articles by Ben Saul

Ben Saul

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: December 9, 2014

Abstract

The International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages 1979 (‘Hostages Convention’) was negotiated in the context of proliferating incidents of hostage-taking in the 1970s, often connected with national liberation struggles in pursuit of self-determination from colonial regime. This article, prepared for the Historical Archives of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law, examines the drafting history of the Hostages Convention; explains its principal provisions (including the ‘prosecute or extradite’ principle underpinning the Convention); discusses the relationship of the Convention’s offences to hostage-taking in armed conflict governed by international humanitarian law; and reviews state practice and case law since the adoption of the Convention, which has influenced diverse legal contexts including criminal, extradition, civil, administrative, human rights, and refugee law.

Keywords: hostage-taking, hostages, terrorism, self-determination, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, armed conflict

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Saul, Ben, International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages (December 9, 2014). United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law, Historical Archives, 2014; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 14/105. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2536150

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://https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/profiles/ben.saul.php

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