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Defining Terrorism in International Law - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Defining Terrorism in International Law

Ben Saul


Despite numerous efforts since the 1920s, the international community has failed to define or criminalize ‘terrorism’ in international law. This book first explores the policy reasons for defining and criminalizing terrorism, before proposing the basic elements of an international definition. Terrorism should be defined and criminalized because it seriously undermines fundamental human rights, jeopardizes the state and peaceful politics, and may threaten international peace and security. Definition would also help to distinguish political from private violence, eliminating the overreach of the ... More

Keywords: terrorism, human rights, politics, 11 September 2001, counter-terrorism, international law, international community

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199535477
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535477.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ben Saul, author
Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney