Terrorism Under the Umbrella of International Criminal Law: Legislating Terror in Egypt Under a Draconian Counter-Terrorism Law, Ex Aequo Et Bono
in Europe in Crises: Crime, Criminal Justice and the Way Forward, Essays in Honour of Nestor Courakis, Editions Ant. N. Sakkoulas Limited Partnership (Athens, Greece) (Fall 2017)
48 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 2017
Following the end of the Cold War, many scholars and policymakers believed that Europe had reached an end of history in which the continent would live free of existential security threats. Recent shifts in State, have now put security policy back on the map for Europe. An uncontrolled stream of migration in a borderless Schengen area, coupled with Europe’s historical troubles with failed integration and domestic radicalization present a dangerous opportunity for terrorist organizations. As a recent Europol report noted, the security risk posed by terrorism has increased in recent years, and is likely to continue on an upward trajectory for the foreseeable future. In 2015 alone, 151 people were killed and 360 wounded as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU. The ability of ISIL to conduct large scale attacks in Europe, as well as inspire self radicalized terrorists demonstrates the continuing threat posed by radical Islamist groups. The U.N. Security Council’s (“UNSC”)unanimous decision to enact a French‐proposed resolution affirming that IS is a “global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,” confirms that international terrorism is a global crisis.
European law enforcement agencies will have to step up their efforts in order to combat terrorist threats. However, these efforts will be less effective unless there is a clear and shared understanding of how terrorism should be conceptualized theoretically, and defined legally. Academic analysis of anti‐terrorism laws is therefore essential. While Europe faces a particularly high terrorist threat, the EU’s counter‐terror strategy extends far beyond European borders. Some of the most important axis of cooperation in the fight against terrorist groups exists between the U.S. and the EU, as well as bilaterally between the U.S. and individual EU member states. In addition to their transatlantic partners, European policymakers collaborate with governments around the world in order to combat terrorist organizations.
Therefore, this chapter will shed some light on the counter ‐ terrorism international legal framework by using the post‐Morsi terrorist attacks in Egypt as a case study. Part II frames this legal apparatus by highlighting the lack of theoretical clarity on the meaning of terrorism, and reviewing the sociological literature on the elements of terrorism. Part III furthers this analysis by reviewing terrorist attacks committed in Egypt, and evaluates them under the terrorist‐related offenses, treaties and UNSC counter‐terrorism resolutions. Part IV examines whether or not there is an international crime of terrorism under international (customary) law, and Part V explores if those attacks rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity (humanitarian law). The chapter concludes by making policy recommendations to combat terrorism.
Keywords: Terrorism, Islamic Extremists, Islamic Law, Criminal Offence, International Law, Humanitarian Law
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