Terrorism and Legal Change: An International Law Lesson
Posted: 15 Feb 2002
This paper examines developments in international law since September 11. It reveals that Bill C-36 may be but one facet of a larger pattern of emergency-driven lawmaking with uncertain consequences. On the one hand, there appears to be a further retreat of the Security Council from its powers - and responsibilities - in the context of the Charter's collective security regime. On the other hand, we may be witnessing a significant expansion in the scope of states' right to resort to forcible self-defence, resulting from a considerable broadening of the previously narrow agency rules with respect to armed attacks. This latter trend flows from the casting, apparently uncontradicted or even endorsed by other states, of the military actions in Afghanistan as self-defence directed at "terrorists and those who harboured them".
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