Terrorism and International Law
The use of terror as a mean to achieve political ends is not a new phenomenon, but it has recently acquired a new intensity. In many cases, terrorist deliberately choose targets in uninvolved third states as a means of perusing the government of the state against which it is in conflict or its real or potential or assumed allies. As for as international law is concerned, there are a number of problems that can be identified. The first major concern is that of definition. For example, how widely should the offence be defined, for instance should attacks against property as well as attacks upon person be covered? And to what extent should one take into account the motives and intentions of the perpetrators? Secondly, the relationship between terrorism and the use of force by states in response is posed. Thirdly, the relationship between terrorism and human rights needs to be taken into account. Despite political difficulties, increasing progress at an international and regional level has been made to establish rules of international law with regard to terrorism. A twin-track approach has been adopted, dealing both with particular manifestations of terrorist activity and with a general condemnation of the phenomenon. The UN has currently adopted thirteen international conventions concerning terrorism, dealing with issues such as hijacking, hostages and terrorist bombings. In addition, the UN has sought to tackle the question of terrorism in a comprehensive fashion. In December 1972, the General Assembly set up and hoc committee on terrorism and in 1994 a Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International terrorism was adopted. This condemned all acts, methods and practices of terrorism. States are further obliged to apprehend and prosecute or extradite perpetrators of terrorist acts and co-operate with other states in exchanging of information and combating terrorism. The Assembly has also adopted a number of resolutions calling...
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