Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism
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Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

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.
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Chapter 21: Extraordinary rendition, counterterrorism and international law

Silvia Borelli


The years immediately following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11) saw the emergence of a novel variation in the way in which governments and state officials may infringe human rights in the name of (real or purported) security considerations: the so-called ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme carried out by the United States. Although instances of irregular transfer, detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects are not new, extraordinary rendition, on the scale and through the modes by which it occurred after 9/11, has undoubtedly posed unprecedented challenges to human rights lawyers, international monitoring bodies, domestic courts and other oversight bodies in their attempts to ensure accountability. Quite apart from the domestic legality of the actions of intelligence agencies and other state officials, extraordinary rendition raises a number of serious concerns with regard to its international legality, which is the focus of this chapter.

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