How Can States Counter Terrorism While Protecting Human Rights?
21 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 23, 2019
For the past two decades countering terrorism has been at the forefront of the foreign policy priorities of democracies. This has coincided with the growth of human rights narratives as a fundamental feature of such democracies. However, a number of counterterrorism measures, such as the use of unlawful detention at Guantanamo Bay, confirmation of ‘black sites’ being used for interrogation and extended state surveillance powers, have raised serious human rights concerns. How do states ensure strong national security while protecting the fundamental human rights they claim as the bedrock of their society? How do states balance regulation of terrorism when the damage that can be done to political and legal systems by terrorism itself as well as by counter-terrorism measures which violate basic human rights norms are exceptional. It is to these challenges that the lecture will turn. I will address four myths that have dominated the post 9/11 terrorism and human rights landscape demonstrating that security need not be sacrificed for human rights (and vice versa), and that the relationship between rights and security is not necessarily one of tension but rather one of mutual capacity-building and necessity.
Keywords: Terrorism, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Security, United Nations
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