Legal Response to Global Terrorism: The European Union Perspective
25 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2016
Date Written: November 10, 2015
Consequent upon the September 11, 2001 attacks in Washington and New York, and the subsequent 2004 Madrid and 2005 London Underground terrorist bombings, the EU was quick to shoot its counter-terrorism strategy to the top of its agenda with a combination of Directives, Regulations and Strategies, to combat what has turned out to be a global scourge. This paper examined the policy instruments painstakingly outlined in the 2009 EU Council fact sheet on the fight against terrorism as basis for a critical examination of the legal instruments designed to curb the menace. We wondered whether the laws have been able to, or can stop the shadowy figures that go about vending terror and mayhem against those they perceived as responsible for their plight. Predictably, the legal response to this debacle was hurried, uncertain and confused. No wonder, the problem has persisted with vigour without visible solution in sight. The 13 November 2015 terrorist attacks in France that allegedly left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded, and the 2 December 2015 San Bernardino massacre in California that left 14 people dead and 22, injured in what was characteristically dubbed an ‘…Islamic extremism-inspired terrorist attack…’ may be proofs that laws, however stringent, or power however draconian, may not provide the expected deterrence effect against those who may be convinced, rightly or wrongly, that they have been marginalised in the scheme of things, with no hope of redemption. The paper concludes that a diplomatic approach may provide a soft landing, for the EU, and others, where the law has failed.
Keywords: Global Terrorism, European Union, Council, Strategies
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