Chapter

<i>Response</i>—The Fight Against Terrorism and the Rules of International Law—A Comment on the Papers and Speeches of John B. Bellinger, Chief Legal Advisor to the United States State Department<sup>†</sup>

Russell A. Miller and Peer C. Zumbansen

in Comparative Law as Transnational Law

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199795208
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919307 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795208.003.0042
Response—The Fight Against Terrorism and the Rules of International Law—A Comment on the Papers and Speeches of John B. Bellinger, Chief Legal Advisor to the United States State Department†

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In the last year, John B. Bellinger III, Chief Legal Adviser to the United States Department of State, has been engaging in a dialogue with politicians and legal scholars in European countries. These speeches and public appearances were meant to address the misimpressions, as Mr. Bellinger sees it, that have become prevalent in Europe over the last few years with respect to the U.S. positions on questions of the legal basis and legal limits of the war on terror and the treatment of detained terrorists. This chapter tries to find European approaches and answers to the legal questions relating to the fight against terrorism. It serves as a European response to Mr. Bellinger's recent invitation for dialogue. Importantly, it goes so far as to propose how misperceptions and misunderstandings might be avoided in the future. The chapter shows that the rules of international law are wiser than their framers. They are flexible enough to cope with international terrorism and they provide an elaborated system that gives sufficient guidance for the solution of our problems. This is demonstrated this with regard to the laws of war and the human rights treaties.

Keywords: international relations; defense policy; war on terror; terrorism; United States; human rights; laws of war; international law

Chapter.  5475 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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