Indefinite Detention and Antiterrorism Laws: Balancing Security and Human Rights
52 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017
Date Written: 2014
Indefinite detention of suspected terrorists under the PATRIOT Act represents a conflict between the United States’ desire for security and the individual rights of the detainees. The PATRIOT Act is also the result of several compromises between the three branches of the government and the Act’s current iteration has and will continue to change. The PATRIOT Act therefore represents a unique insight not only into what Americans value – security vs. freedom – but how the government operates and the deals the government branches make with each other to find a balance between these priorities. By comparing the path to passage of both the PATRIOT Act and similar anti-terrorism laws in the United Kingdom, the fundamental workings of both governments come more sharply into focus. This article therefore not only reveals how the governments of the United States and United Kingdom created their most recent anti-terrorism laws, but how those laws demonstrate the shifts in power and values among the government branches in making those laws.
Keywords: anti-terrorism laws, indefinite detention, comparative law
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