Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism
Show Less

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

  • Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Ben Saul

This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details

Chapter 13: Terrorism and international humanitarian law

Ben Saul

Extract

Terrorism has long presented challenges for both states and humanitarian protection in armed conflict. Debates have taken place for over a century about irregular combatant status, the legitimacy of non-state armed groups, violence motivated by politically ‘just’ causes, terrorist means and methods of warfare, and the regulatory challenges of asymmetrical conflict. Many of these issues resurfaced or assumed a new complexion after 9/11, with stark challenges to international humanitarian law (IHL) presented by a particularly powerful victim of terrorism, the United States. Purported gaps or inadequacies in IHL have stimulated much discussion, whether from the perspective of state militaries, ‘terrorists’, or civilians. Others chapters in this book explore different facets of the relationship between terrorism and IHL, including detention, interrogation and torture, irregular rendition, military trials, targeting killings, and the nexus with international human rights law. This chapter focuses on the fundamental threshold issue when IHL applies to violence involving terrorism or terrorist groups, in the context of international or non-international armed conflicts. It includes a discussion of the particularly complex problem of ‘transnational’ violence and the geographical and temporal scope of hostilities. The chapter then briefly considers the legal consequences of the classification of conflicts, as regards targeting, detention, substantive criminal liabilities, and the procedure of criminal trials. It concludes with some observations about the impact of international counter-terrorism law on the effectiveness of IHL, including its balance between military necessity and humanitarian protection.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.