Latest Publication: “Counter-Terrorist Detention and International Human Rights Law”

57938800I am delighted to see that Ben Saul (ed), Research Handbook on Terrorism and International Law (Edward Elgar) has now been published. This impressive collection covers the widest imaginable range of topics within its broad scope, and includes a chapter by me on counter-terrorist detention and human rights law. A pre-print of the chapter is available on SSRN, and the abstract is below.

In this chapter I consider the compatibility of counter-terrorist detention with international human rights law from the starting point that what is protected in international law is not a right to be free from detention per se but rather a right to be free from the arbitrary deprivation of one’s liberty. This is clearly rooted in international human rights law, which is the main focus of this chapter (acknowledging that it interacts with international humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict).

The chapter demonstrates that counter-terrorist detention can be compatible with the standards of international human rights law as they have been interpreted and applied in the past decade, but that in the process of such interpretation and application those standards have at times been diluted to a worrying extent.

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