Counter-Terrorism Law and the Shrinking Legal Space for Political Resistance and Violence

Security and Human Rights - 2nd Edition, Liora Lazarus, Benjamin Goold, eds, Hart Publishing, UK, 2018, Forthcoming

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 17/36

12 Pages Posted: 5 May 2017 Last revised: 26 Aug 2017

See all articles by Ben Saul

Ben Saul

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: May 4, 2017

Abstract

Contemporary counter-terrorism laws often criminalize all violence (and sometimes even non-violent resistance) against all governments, regardless of the means or methods used, and irrespective of the legitimacy of a rebellion or the illegitimacy of a repressive government. Domestic political violence, hitherto largely the concern of an affected state, has been reclassified and elevated to an international security concern that compels transnational criminal repression. The political offence exception to extradition is thus being eroded to a vanishing point. Armed resistance in armed conflict is also frequently criminalized, intruding on the delicately-balanced regulation of such violence by international humanitarian law. As a result, the international community increasingly cooperates in the repression of legitimate – and genuinely non-terroristic – resistance, under the guise of universally countering terrorism. Repressive states have thus been empowered and human rights have been demoted beneath global security. The blanket outlawing of resistance can also have the paradoxical effect of stimulating more, not less, terrorism.

Keywords: Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism Law, Political Violence, Rebellion, Revolution, Resistance, International Humanitarian Law, Self-Determination

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Saul, Ben, Counter-Terrorism Law and the Shrinking Legal Space for Political Resistance and Violence (May 4, 2017). Security and Human Rights - 2nd Edition, Liora Lazarus, Benjamin Goold, eds, Hart Publishing, UK, 2018, Forthcoming; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 17/36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2962795

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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