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Criminal Due Process In Times Of Emergency And Terrorism: The International Legal Regime And Comparative Perspectives

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Chapter Summary

Similar to an individuals right to self-defense under criminal law, a governments emergency power allows it to take exceptional measures including suspensions of basic rights. Derogation of rights in times of emergency adapts the doctrine of necessity in general international law to a particular field of human rights. This chapter discusses the difference between limitations to rights in a human rights treaty and the treatys derogation clause. As far as international human rights obligations in times of emergencies are concerned, most of the applicable treaties contain a statutory reservation. Emergency powers, particularly those having to do with extrajudicial deprivation of liberty in the context of terrorist acts, were the object of the Courts interpretation in the case of Ireland v. United Kingdom. It was not only the United States that has been victimized by terrorism, but acts of terror have plagued many other countries as well.

Keywords: criminal due process; customary international law; emergency powers; international legal regime; terrorism



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