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Constitutionalism Across Borders in the Struggle Against Terrorism

Constitutionalism Across Borders in the Struggle Against Terrorism

Edited by Federico Fabbrini and Vicki C. Jackson

This edited collection explores the topic of constitutionalism across borders in the struggle against terrorism, analyzing how constitutional rules and principles relevant in the field of counter-terrorism move across borders. What emerges is a picture of the complex interplay of constitutional law, international law, criminal law and the law of war, creating webs of norms and regulations that apply in the struggle against terrorism conducted across increasingly porous borders.

Chapter 5: The dynamics of transnational counter-terrorism law: towards a methodology, map, and critique

Cian C. Murphy

Subjects: law - academic, constitutional and administrative law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, constitutions


In the decade since the 11 September 2001 attacks there has been a proliferation of literature in constitutional law, human rights law, public (international) law and legal theory addressing terrorism and the law. This literature chronicles and critiques the development of counter-terrorism law at national and international levels, it analyses the relationship between law and politics in the control of state powers, and it probes the limits of state action in the face of threats to the state itself. It is clear from the literature that, more and more, counter-terrorism law has its origins, effects, or both origins and effects, beyond the territory of a single state. Although it is commonplace to refer to a transnational dimension in counter-terrorism law and policy, insufficient attention has been paid to what this transnationalisation entails for the rule of law itself and for those subject to the law. It has seen little description or critique and is all too often the subject of mythology and mystification. Thus, Slaughter’s A New World Order uses it as one of its first examples: ‘networks of financial regulators working to identify and freeze terrorist assets, of law enforcement officials sharing vital information on terrorist suspects, and of intelligence operatives working to pre-empt the next attack’. However, the example is largely lost in the book’s subsequent chapters. This gap demands attention. Ramraj identifies several challenges to an in-depth analysis of ‘global anti-terrorism law’.

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