Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Ben Saul
Chapter 29: Special measures: Terrorism and control orders
In 2005 both the United Kingdom and Australia established schemes for control orders, enabling the imposition of restrictions and conditions on individuals to prevent them from engaging in terrorism-related activity. The respective schemes shared an essential similarity, not simply because the UK legislation was a model for the later Australian enactment but also due to their grounding in the preventative logic that dominated legal responses to the threat of terrorism after the 11 September 2001 attacks (9/11). While international counter-terrorism law did not specifically require states to adopt control orders, they are a manifestation of the preventive approach to terrorism in Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) adopted after 9/11. However, the experience of the two schemes in practice, culminating in the demise of UK control orders in 2011, proved to be starkly different. Understanding why this was so requires an appreciation of a key distinction in the design of the two sets of control orders, as well as the contrasting security, criminal justice and constitutional settings in which both were created. Yet while the story of control orders in each jurisdiction was divergent, ultimately their utility as a special measure of anti-terrorism law was discredited in both.
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