The Extra-territorial Obligations of European States regarding Human Rights in the Context of Terrorism

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the growing tendency of international human rights law to require states to protect the rights of non-nationals who are in the state unlawfully and of nationals and non-nationals who are outside the state, especially when any of these people are involved in terrorist or counter-terrorist activity. It reviews these additional obligations within a European context, focusing on EU law and the law of the European Convention on Human Rights and drawing on the case law of UK courts. Part 1 considers when a European state must grant asylum to alleged terrorists on the basis that otherwise they would suffer human rights abuses in the state from which they are fleeing. Part 2 examines whether, outside of asylum claims, a European state must not deport or extradite an alleged terrorist because he or she might suffer an abuse of human rights in the receiving state. Part 3 looks at whether a European state whose security forces are engaged in counter-terrorism activities abroad is obliged to protect the human rights of the individuals serving in those forces and/or the human rights of the alleged terrorists they are confronting. While welcoming the extension of state responsibility, the chapter notes that it is occurring in a way which introduces three aspects of relativity into the protection of human rights. First, European law protects only some human rights extra-territorially. Second, it protects those rights only when there is ‘a real risk’ of their being violated. Third, sometimes it protects those rights only when there is a real risk of their being violated ‘flagrantly’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstitutionalism Across Borders in the Struggle Against Terrorism
EditorsFederico Fabbrini, Vicky Jackson
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages213-232
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781784715397
ISBN (Print)9781784715380
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • terrorism
  • human rights
  • extra-territoriality

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  • Cite this

    Dickson, B. (2016). The Extra-territorial Obligations of European States regarding Human Rights in the Context of Terrorism. In F. Fabbrini, & V. Jackson (Eds.), Constitutionalism Across Borders in the Struggle Against Terrorism (pp. 213-232). Edward Elgar Publishing.