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Marcello Di Filippo

Notwithstanding the need for concerted international action to tackle the problem of terrorism, positive international law is far from offering a sound notion of it. The discussion of such a notion is conditioned by the recurrent abuse of the term ‘terrorism’ in the general debate and by a certain confusion between an empirical description of a phenomenon and its treatment in a legal setting. Proposing a core definition approach – deeply inspired by the conceptual rigour of criminal law – this chapter elaborates a notion based upon the basic rights of civilians and on the unacceptability of their violation by terrorist methods carried out by private organized groups. The definition proposed here, not recognizing any material relevance to the perpetrator’s motivations because of the overwhelming importance of the value infringed, is able to minimize the relevance of some abused arguments (such as state terrorism or ‘ freedom fighters’) and would prove useful in interpretation and in drafting exercises, both at international and national level.

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Marcello Di Filippo

Irregular migration is a stable reality: it is of concern to origin, transit and destination countries alike, and though they view that reality from different angles, while taking different strategies, they all devote considerable effort to tackling this issue in their bilateral and multilateral relations. What are the features and the outcomes of such increasingly intensifying cooperation? What is here advocated is that bilateral relations and multilateral deals be pursued without neglecting the crucial role recognized for human rights, as well as for legal procedural guarantees, transparency, and other components of the rule of law. By choosing a different path, EU Member States and the EU itself are condemning themselves to a seat at a table where the menu is filled with (poisoned) fruits: reduced legal certainty and transparency of the decision-making process, a lower standard for human rights protection (ultimately leading to legal disputes in domestic and European fora), a questionable use of public funds and scarce accountability to taxpayers and specialized auditing bodies, an improper mix of criminal law tools and military solutions in coping with security challenges, hindering the free movement of people within Africa. Additionally, from a policy perspective, when the emphasis in dealing with third countries falls exclusively or primarily on security issues, the approach cannot be expected to yield stable results that everyone is on board with, and it may paradoxically endanger national and international security even further, by fuelling dynamics of increased business opportunities and profit-making for smugglers, associated organized crime outfits, and armed non-governmental actors.