Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mark Sidel: A Comparative Analysis of Counter-Terrorism and Civil Society

Mark Sidel recently authored Counter-Terrorism and The Enabling Legal and Political Environment for Civil Society:  A Comparative Analysis of "War on Terror" States in the International Journal of Not For Profit Law  Here is  the introduction:

This article focuses on the legal and political environment for civil society in an era in which counter-terrorism policy and law have challenged civil society and civil liberties in a number of countries. The ways in which counter-terrorism law and policy affect civil society can differ dramatically by country and region. So this article seeks to provide some comparative analysis of the impact of counter-terrorism policy and law on civil society in several countries in which the “war on terror” is being fought, emphasizing impacts on the enabling environment for civil society such as laws, regulations, policies, and practice influencing the existence, structure, activities, and vibrancy of civil society.  I address these impacts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, with some comparative and brief reference in the conclusions to Canada, Netherlands, and the European Union. Certainly other countries and regions could and should be discussed, but limited space forces a focus on some of the countries in which the “war on terror” has been waged most vigorously and where the impact of counter-terrorism law and policy on civil society has been most widely contested . . . The article begins from the premise that measures used to monitor, investigate, restrict, prosecute, or otherwise affect charities with the goal of restricting terrorist financing should also seek to maintain the autonomy and vibrancy that characterizes the charitable sector in democratic societies, and that serious efforts must be made to balance society’s interests in freedom from terrorism with society’s interests in a vibrant, autonomous, and powerful charitable sector.

This should be an interesting piece.


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