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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 11: The extra-territorial obligations of European states regarding human rights in the context of terrorism

Brice Dickson

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


Constitutions are primarily inward looking, setting out rights and obligations as between a particular state and the people who are lawfully in that state. Sometimes they give fewer rights to non-nationals of the state, but more usually there is at least an implicit acceptance that the state’s domestic law can extend constitutional rights to non-nationals, even when they have entered or remained in the state unlawfully. A constitution may also indicate that the state is free to enter into treaties with other states, the result of which can be the overlaying of constitutional rights and obligations with additional state commitments, often extending human rights protection to people who are non-nationals and unlawfully in the state. Multilateral human rights treaties usually talk, sometimes within the same document, about the rights of ‘everyone’, ‘anyone’, ‘every human being’, ‘all persons’, or ‘no one’. Only rarely do they specify protection for the rights of ‘every citizen’ or make specific provision for ‘an alien’. This chapter is not concerned with the constitutional rights of non-nationals who are already lawfully living in a state, although there may well be a case for enhancing those rights, especially in the field of electoral law.

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