Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Defining Terrorism: Sudha Setty on the War on Terror

The War on Terror obviously requires a definition of "terror" and "terrorism."  Unlike the definitional challenges we discussed yesterday, it is difficult to imagine any Justices of the United States Supreme Court consulting a dictionary to elucidate "terrorism."   Yet perhaps they should.  For, as Professor Sudha Setty SUDHASETTY02 (pictured left) argues, the meaning of terrorism is far from clear and there is a "definitional creep" which results in loss of individual rights.

Setty's article, What's in a Name? How Nations Define Terrorism Ten Years After 9/11, forthcoming in University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, available on ssrn, compares the definitional quagmire in United States law, as well as in United Nations documents, and in Great Britain and India. 

Setty's article considers the challenges of relying on what she calls "an incomplete and piecemeal definition of terrorism" at the United Nations level in conjunction with the mandate for robust counterterrorism measures in United Nations member states.  The article then examines how the United States, United Kingdom, and India have developed their current legal definitions of terrorism, the application, and the underlying value judgments and policies.  

Without being exhaustive, Setty is comprehensive.  The discussion of the various statutory schemes is excellent and her own analysis cogent.  The comparative approach of the article should be of interest not only to ConLawProfs teaching or writing in the area of comparative constitutional law, but anyone working on US national security issues because of her illuminating comparisons, especially the work of Lord Carlile reviewing the British legislation.



Comparative Constitutionalism, Executive Authority, Foreign Affairs, Fundamental Rights, Scholarship, State Secrets | Permalink

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Nowadays we dont know whether terrorism does exist, although it is really have buy we dont how active it is, sometimes it is created politically and purposely. In a world today many countries are developing and start investion to military but we dont know the real purpose whether they will become good world stake holder.

Posted by: Jezreel Ricafort | Feb 8, 2012 6:11:35 AM

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