Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Ben Saul

This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.

Chapter 9: The draft United Nations Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism

Amrith Rohan Perera

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, human rights, terrorism and security


This chapter analyses the core negotiating issues surrounding the diplomatic efforts to conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), under the auspices of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism (AHC). It first considers the historical background of international initiatives to combat terrorism, including the development of the international counterterrorism treaty framework within the UN. The chapter then turns to current initiatives in the UN to provide a comprehensive treaty framework for combating terrorism, including the controversy over the so-called ‘definitional issue’ which previously led the UN to adopt a ‘sectoral approach’. Next, it addresses the rationale for the CCIT and how the Draft CCIT seeks to address gaps in the existing sectoral treaty framework. It then examines the way in which the CCIT seeks to deal with the ‘definitional issue’ through a ‘compromise package’, which addresses the different political and legal considerations involved, and the rationale for and elements of the package. The final section proposes a way ahead to overcome the current impasse.

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