Living with Counter-Terrorism Laws and Their Discontents
in Lennon, G., King, C., and McCartney, C., Counter-Terrorism, Constitutionalism and Miscarriages of Justice: A Festschrift for Professor Clive Walker (Hart, Oxford, 2019) 307-325
Posted: 15 Mar 2019
Date Written: 2019
Four options for the reform of counter-terrorism laws are considered. In Stance 1, the counter-terrorism legislation is left as it stands. Stance 2, ‘ Steady as you go ’, involves the gradual dismantling of the special laws. Stance 3, ‘ No emergency, no emergency law ’ , was suggested by the Committee on the Administration of Justice in their 1995 paper of that name. My preferred Stance 4 might be called ‘Handle with special care legislation ’. The argument is that it is illogical to oppose all conceivable forms of special laws because one has concern for civil liberties. Rather, our concern for civil liberties should lead us to the conclusion that we should do our utmost to protect citizens against either zombie-like paramilitary organisations or uncontrolled security forces, and that to vacate the field to either faction is to abdicate responsibility for the governance of special powers. Instead, the philosophy of constitutionalism requires that the legislature can secure an important input if it can speak in advance of any crisis and can also secure for the judiciary an important voice in that crisis.
Keywords: counter-terrorism, constitutionalism, emergency, civil liberties
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation