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The 'Global War on Terror'

Draghici, C. (2009). The 'Global War on Terror'. In: Sriram, C. L., Martin-Ortega, O. & Herman, J. (Eds.), War, Conflict and Human Rights: Theory and Practice. (pp. 138-159). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.


The war on terror is a peculiar type of conflict: at times it involves military operations, subject to international humanitarian law, but for the most part it consists of law-enforcement action, bound to observe international human rights law.

• In times of war or other public emergencies, States can lawfully derogate from some of their human rights obligations. In times of peace, some measure of interference with certain rights may also be permitted to accommodate security concerns. The proportionality of such restrictions should, however, always be respected.

• The war on terror has entailed arbitrary deprivations of life and liberty, the use of torture and degrading treatment against suspected terrorists, the supression of due process guarantees, unwarranted interference with the right to private life, freedom of expression and association, as well as restrictions on the rights of aliens.

• The human rights cost of the global war on terror regards both the excesses of national policies and multilateral (especially UN) action.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > International Law and Affairs Group
The City Law School > Institute for the Study of European Laws
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