Countering Terrorism within the Rule of Law

Published 21 August 2018

Two terrorist incidents took place yesterday, one in Russia and the other in Spain. Terrorism is here to stay, but it is becoming more and more difficult to combat global terrorism while protecting people’s fundamental rights. In the past years, many states have rushed to implement laws and strategies to fight terrorists, which leads to a rising tension between ensuring national security and protecting people’s rights and freedoms at the same time.

Professor of International Law and former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Martin Scheinin is a leading expert in the field of countering terrorism. He will deliver the keynote speech to kick-start our Countering Terrorism within a Rule of Law Framework summer programme next week. He will address the importance of respecting fundamental rights and freedoms, and discuss the rule of law in implementing counter-terrorism measures.

The programme covers a wide range of topics (including the definition of terrorism in international and domestic law, legal limits to military responses to terrorism, criminal justice responses to terrorism, evidentiary issues and other prosecutorial challenges, administrative and security measures), and comports various types of activities (including lectures, interactive sessions, study visits, group discussions, panel presentations).

“Law itself is the balance”
Scheinin contributed to the Asser Institute in the ‘Human Dignity and Human Security in Time of Terrorism Conference’ last December, where he said: “Since 9/11, the emergence or growing importance of the ‘security constitution’ has resulted in repetitious calls for establishing a ‘new balance’ between security and human rights. This rhetoric, however, is flawed, as there is no need for a ‘balance’ between the law and something else – law itself is the balance.”