Table of Contents

Secrecy, National Security and the Vindication of Constitutional Law

Secrecy, National Security and the Vindication of Constitutional Law

Edited by David Cole, Federico Fabbrini and Arianna Vedaschi

Virtually every nation has had to confront tensions between the rule-of-law demands for transparency and accountability and the need for confidentiality with respect to terrorism and national security. This book provides a global and comparative overview of the implications of governmental secrecy in a variety of contexts. Expert contributors from around the world discuss the dilemmas posed by the necessity for – and evils of – secrecy, and assess constitutional mechanisms for checking the abuse of secrecy by national and international institutions in the field of counter-terrorism.

Chapter 15: Administrative counter-terrorism measures – a strategy to circumvent human rights in the fight against terrorism?

Tuomas Ojanen

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law and justice, human rights, terrorism and security law


This chapter takes stock of the use of administrative measures in the name of countering terrorism. After a short introduction to administrative counter-terrorism measures, the focus is on the following questions: What explains the increased use of administrative measures, either as an addition to or as an alternative to criminal law, to counter terrorism? What are the main objectives of these administrative measures? What are the major consequences of the ‘administrative approach’; especially what are the constitutional repercussions for the protection of human rights? The chapter is intended to be illustrative rather than comprehensive. Therefore, the focus is on human rights concerns originating in the nexus of administrative counter-terrorism measures and intelligence, that is secret information provided by intelligence services about individuals or groups who are believed to be potential perpetrators of terrorist acts or other threats to national security. Human rights concerns pertaining to the use of intelligence are illustrated by Finnish immigration proceedings in which intelligence has been used to justify the rejection of applications for citizenship or a residence permit. It is hoped that this discussion will bring some added value as human rights concerns originating in the use of secret intelligence have so far largely, if not exclusively, been discussed with reference to such ‘high-profile’ cases as detention proceedings at Guantanamo, the targeted sanctions regime initiated by the UN Security Council under Security Council Resolution 1267 and the EU listing regime. Besides, Finland is one of those EU Member States who have traditionally favored access to documents and transparency

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