Terrorism

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Counter-terrorism control orders come to Switzerland: is assigned residence for ‘potential terrorists’ compatible with art. 5 ECHR?

The legislative responses to terrorist violence in Europe over the past several years have shown a new trend of circumventing proper judicial review and protections of criminal law by relying on ‘administrative measures’. Broadly, such measures can be defined as restrictions of a non-criminal nature, ordered by the executive in the name of terrorism prevention, and subject to limited judicial review. European governments now have the powers to prohibit individuals from leaving and returning to their country of residence, deprive them of citizenship on new grounds, issue ‘control orders’ – restrictions on individuals’ freedom of movement, e.g. night curfews, assigned residence, obligation to report – all enforced outside the normal criminal process. Counter-terrorism powers in Switzerland have been ramped up as well in light of the threat posed by ‘terrorism with its new jihadist face’ in Europe (and despite the absence of terrorist attacks on Swiss soil). In 2015 the government adopted a strategy, which was followed by a steady increase in the number of…

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Green Light from the ICJ to Go Ahead with Ukraine’s Dispute against the Russian Federation Involving Allegations of Racial Discrimination and Terrorism Financing

  On 8 November 2019, the ICJ delivered its highly anticipated judgment in Ukraine v Russia on the preliminary objections raised by the Russian Federation with respect to the Court’s jurisdiction and the admissibility of Ukraine’s claims under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the International Convention for the…

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International Law and Maritime Terrorism

  The death of the Islamic State’s (IS) leader (27 October 2019), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a US operation in Syria has again put international terrorism at the centre stage. Precisely, this blog post discusses a manifestation of international terrorism: maritime terrorism. As evidenced below, analyses of maritime terrorism are relevant in international law and policy. Yet,…

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The IHL Exclusion Clause, and why Belgian Courts Refuse to Convict PKK Members for Terrorist Offences

On 8 March, the Chamber of Indictments of the Court of Appeal of Brussels decided to discontinue the prosecution of thirty-nine individuals and two media companies affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). All were being prosecuted for participating in the activities of, or directing, a terrorist group. The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office had opened the investigation in…

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UK Extraterritorial Financial Sanctions: Too Much, Too Little, Too Late?

The US practice of the extraterritorial application of sanctions was criticised for years as, at best, the illegitimate abuse of its particular position in the world’s economy. Despite its fully comparable position in international finance, the United Kingdom was shielded from such criticism predominantly thanks to the transfer of respective decision-making to Brussels. The nature and scope of…

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