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Up to what extent are Human Rights an obstruction to the fight against terrorism?

Uploaded by bayushibors on Nov 15, 2002

Ever since the birth of modern democracies and especially after the development of social, civil and human rights and their incorporation into the state’s legal and constitutional instrumentation, terrorism has been a distressing problem for both individual states and the international community as a whole. Terrorism is not only an undemocratic means to reach certain political or social objectives, but it is also an anti-democratic phenomenon. Hence states have found, both in the domestic and international sphere, great difficulties in rooting out the problem within so-called democratic boundaries. The importance of certain rights, enshrined in international treaties and within most states’ constitutional machinery, coupled with the complications of combating the phenomenon of terrorism within the legal, political and social framework of democracy, have combined to produce certain legally enforceable rights under which certain terrorist activities have found protection. It is therefore worthwhile to put forward the question of whether certain provisions in Human Rights legislation pose an effective barrier against certain anti-terrorist policies conducted by individual states, and whether this is just a side-effect of the importance of the protection of Human Rights throughout states world-wide.

Individual states form their own policies against terrorism, subject to the limits imposed by constitutional restrictions and those treaties entered by those, which concern this issue. Perhaps the most illustrative example of this situation are the states party to the European Convention of Human Rights.

The European Convention of Human Rights enshrines certain inalienable rights of the individual, and it is enforced through the mechanisms of the European Court of Human Rights. Every citizen who holds the nationality of a member state or who has sufficient interest in the case may forward a claim to the European Court based on any alleged breach of an article of the Convention. During the past years, instances of suspected terrorists or individuals connected with terrorist activities bringing claims before this Court have taken place, and a certain number of articles have come under scrutiny of the Courts in relation with anti-terrorist policies or actions. Additionally, other articles have not yet been used in this line of complaints, and yet could pose another set of difficulties in the state’s fight against terrorism if invoked for the protection of certain activities and given individuals.

The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) has therefore affected measures touching three main spheres in individual European state’s anti-terrorist measures: legislation, police procedures and certain limitations...

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Uploaded by:   bayushibors

Date:   11/15/2002

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   9 pages (1,917 words)

Views:   1119

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