Laws of Unintended Consequences: Terrorist Financing Restrictions and Transitions to Democracy

New York International Law Review , Vol. 20, p. 65, 2007

Roger Williams Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 43

37 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2007 Last revised: 17 Sep 2015

See all articles by Peter Margulies

Peter Margulies

Roger Williams University School of Law

Date Written: February 12, 2007

Abstract

Restrictions on funding for terrorist organizations are an important element of a coordinated strategy in the war on terror. However, restrictions of this kind require flexibility, particularly when groups designated as terrorist organizations seek to participate in the electoral process. A rigid, absolutist approach to financing restrictions in this regard may be counter-productive, undercutting the transition to nonviolence within the organization.

A more promising approach views the transition to democracy as a pragmatic undertaking with three components. First, a terrorist group forming a new regime must take meaningful steps to deter all violence against its external adversaries. Second, the group must promote transparency in its finances, perhaps by opening its books to monitors from donor nations. Third, to reciprocate for these measures, the adversaries of terrorist groups should reject targeted killings of terrorist leaders, engage in negotiations for the exchange of prisoners and detainees, and practice proportionate military responses to terrorist violence.

Keywords: National Security Law, Law and Terrorism, International Law

Suggested Citation

Margulies, Peter, Laws of Unintended Consequences: Terrorist Financing Restrictions and Transitions to Democracy (February 12, 2007). New York International Law Review , Vol. 20, p. 65, 2007, Roger Williams Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 43, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=964914

Peter Margulies (Contact Author)

Roger Williams University School of Law ( email )

10 Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809
United States

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