The Juridification of the UK’s Counter Terrorism Prevent Policy
(2022) Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 45(11): 1004-1029
Posted: 11 Mar 2020 Last revised: 21 Oct 2022
Date Written: January 1, 2020
The UK policy of “Prevent” aims to stop people becoming involved in, or supporting, terrorism. In common with many CVE policies worldwide, Prevent has remained controversial in its conception, delivery, and impact. A formal review is now underway, so it is opportune to ask, “Whither Prevent?” This paper will examine briefly the justifications for Prevent, but the main thesis is that the juridification of Prevent is a beneficial trend in the UK. Juridification is depicted as: the legislative production of ever more extensive and elaborate instruments; the expansion of judicial oversight; and the administrative (bureaucratic) application of soft law standards. Juridification is here invoked in order to enhance the legitimacy of the policy of Prevent through explicit improvements in its modes of operation and through offering modes of challenge where the principles of constitutionalism are contravened. If Prevent can be improved in these ways, then its application can be refined to address more effectively and efficiently the threat of terrorist attacks, especially given that the originators or observers of these threats are invited under the Prevent policy to cooperate by consent in the enterprise of counter terrorism.
Keywords: Terrorism, Prevent, CVE, Juridification, Constitutionalism
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation