Journal Article

Equality of Arms: Complying with International Human Rights Law in Cases Against Alleged Terrorists

Jeffrey Davis

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 21, issue 1, pages 69-89
Published in print April 2016 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online November 2015 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krv020
Equality of Arms: Complying with International Human Rights Law in Cases Against Alleged Terrorists

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  • Military and Defence Law
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  • Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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The USA, UK and other nations implemented national security policies and operations after 9/11 that revealed a gap between capabilities and insecurity and established a gap between counter-terrorism operations and international human rights law. For example, when states prosecute or detain suspected terrorists, they often do so on the basis of secret evidence. This creates a gap between the state’s national security operations and international human rights law protections. I examine how the USA and UK have challenged fair trial rights when prosecuting alleged terrorists and how domestic, regional and international courts have responded. I demonstrate that international human rights law severely limits governments from prosecuting and detaining terrorism suspects based on secret evidence. Based on this law, I propose rules to attain a balance between national security and fair trial rights. These would narrow the gap between national security operations and international law and, in turn, narrow the gap between capabilities and insecurity.

Journal Article.  9376 words. 

Subjects: Military and Defence Law ; Police and Security Services ; Terrorism and National Security Law ; Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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