"Passive Indoctrination" as a Terrorist Offense in Spain – A Regression from Constitutional Rights?

Spanish counter-terrorist legislation was originally aimed at fighting local terrorism of a nationalist nature. In Spain, the phenomenon was so present during the constituent process that the Constitution itself included a provision that allows certain fundamental rights to be suspended for specific persons, “in relation to the investigations corresponding to the actions of armed bands or terrorist elements” (art. 55.2 EC –Spanish Constitution-).

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The Case Law of the Bundesverfassungsgericht on Counterterrorist Measures

Ever since 9/11, a multitude of laws against terrorism have been adopted, both on the federal level and on the level of the Länder (which in Germany are mainly responsible for the police). The 2002 “Law on suppression of international terrorism” was only the first of many to follow: immediately after 9/11, the Federal Ministry of the Interior seized the opportunity to introduce counterterrorist measures that had been on its agenda for quite some time.

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Excesses of Counter-Terrorism and Constitutional Review in France: The Example of the Criminalisation of the Consultation of Websites

In the span of three years, France has adopted no less than five new counter-terrorism laws in November 2014, November 2015, June 2016, February 2017, and October 2017. As in other countries, this surge in counter-terrorism legislation has been prompted by a rise and reconfiguration of the terrorist threat (notably with regards to Foreign Terrorist […]

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The State of Emergency, Non-Refoulement and the Turkish Constitutional Court

There is almost not a day that passes without terrorism featuring in the Turkish media, with national terrorism and the fight against terrorism being the subject of controversy both nationally and internationally. The broad definition of terrorism under Turkey’s Anti-Terrorism Law of 1991, the measure of discretion of the competent authorities in the modality of […]

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State Secrecy in Counterterrorism: Different Judicial Standards of Review – The Abu Omar Case before Italian Courts

State secrecy provides an interesting viewpoint on national and supranational judicial review standards over counterterrorism measures, since it has frequently been invoked by advanced democracies in the fight against terrorism. Over the last years, the shield of secrecy has consistently concealed abuses perpetrated during intelligence operations, including the controversial practice of extraordinary renditions (ERs), carried […]

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Is Travel to Syrian Warfare a Terrorist Crime? The Finnish Case

On 24 January 2018, the Helsinki District Court of 24 January 2018 ruled on an alleged plan by three Muslim men, all Finnish nationals, to travel to Syria and join the ongoing armed conflict there. The prosecutor chose to base the charges on Section 2, Preparation of an offence to be committed with terrorist aim, under the construction that joining the armed opposition forces in Syria so as to engage in hostilities against the official army of the al-Assad regime, could have resulted in death or injury to members of the Syrian military forces.

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The Right to Fair Trial and the Rise of Sensitive Intelligence Evidence: Responses from the Dutch and UK Courts

Writing extra-judicially, Lord Justice Brown once described the typical court approach on matters of national security as follows: “the mere incantation of the phrase [national security] of itself instantly discourages the court from satisfactorily fulfilling its normal role of deciding where the balance of public interest lies.” (1994 Public Law) Yet, in recent times, despite […]

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