AN ASSESSMENTOF THE IMPACT OF COUNTER TERRORISM ON NON DEROGABLE RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

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ABSTRACT

International Human Rights Law provides adequate safeguard and protection against Human Rights violation even in times of Public Emergency which threatens the life of a nation such as when a state faces the threat of continuous terrorist attack. On the other hand, the problem of terrorism which has gained notoriety since after the 9/11 attacks in America has impacted heavily on international law, particularly international Human Rights Law. This research thus addresses a few of these legal problems such as those relating to non-derogable rights, the Ticking Bomb Theory and the principle of state responsibility.To contextualize and analyze these problems properly in the light of the topic of research, this research identified some research problems such as; whether State Parties are justified in acting outside the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights especially the Article 4 which provides for the adequate safe guards and protection against human rights violations in times of public emergency which threatens the life of a nation; Whether also, the fear of imminent terrorist attacks or a credible terrorist plot can serve as a justification for the re introduction of torture as a permissible interrogative technique on certain hardened terrorists. This research examined the arguments relied upon by some states , particularly the US in justifying measures taken by them to combat terrorism outside the provisions of the International Human Rights Legal Framework. It also examined critically the Ticking Bomb theory and certain international conventions prohibiting the practice of torture as an interrogative tool with a view to determining the legality or otherwise of it. The research employed a doctrinal method of research throughout the entire work which include online resource materials, books journals, Newspapers Articles, Reports, Conference papers, Case laws and statutes both of which constitute primary and secondary sources of law. On the whole, this research found amongst other things that there is a lack of adequate international regulatory safeguards that is supposed to ensure proper oversight and control of military operations especially with respect to measures taken by states parties in combating  terrorism. It also found that there is a lack of transparency in implementing counter  terrorism measures amongst state parties, especially by the conspicuous ways state parties deliberately neglect or ignore the responsibility to investigate facts and allegations relating to human rights abuses in the course of enforcing counter terrorism measures. It was also discovered that the ticking bomb theory provided no valid justification for the selective use of torture in fighting and preventing terrorism. In the light of its findings, this research also thus recommended inter alia for the provision of a more effective and better monitoring structure and also a better regulatory safe guards and protection to ensure proper oversight and control of military operations of state parties and their Secret Service Agencies. It also recommended the promotion of transparency in implementing counter terrorism measures and the empowerment of international courts and quasi-judicial committees like the Human Rights Committee to ensure the proper enforcement of the accountability of states parties with respect to cases of Human Rights abuses. Lastly, it recommended an absolute ban on the use and practice of torture in line with the current standard of international law and the subsisting international human right mechanism

 

CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION

     Background to the Study

 

Since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washingtonin 2001, there has been an increase in both the frequency of terrorist attacks around the world and the counter measures employed by states to combat terrorism. But some of these counter measures employed have violated certain norms of international law especially those norms of International Human Rights Law relating to non derogable rights.

International Human Rights Law provides adequate safeguards and protection against Human Rights violations even in times of public emergency that threatens the life of a nation such as when a state faces the threat of continuous terrorist attacks.

Despite the flexibility built into the International Human Rights Law and the permissible measures which allow states to limit and derogate from certain rights in times of public emergency, some states, notably the united states, have continued to operate outside the framework of the International Human Rights Law with impunity and at times with allusion to different moral and legal arguments to justify their position.

These include the legal arguments for justifying the current practice of targeted killings and drone Strike resorted to by some states to fight terrorism, and the doctrine of the use of force in international law as it relates to cross border attacks directed toward terrorist elements operating within the territories of another state and their implication on Right to Life, the ticking bomb theory and the justification canvassed by its proponents and whether such reasons qualifies as exceptions to the absolute prohibition of the use of torture under International Law and lastly the policy of transferring terror suspects to countries where they face the risk of torture and abuse.

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