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Counter-Terrorism: International Lawand PracticeJoshua Skoczylis a & Clive Walker aa University of LeedsPublished online: 07 Dec 2012.
To cite this article: Joshua Skoczylis & Clive Walker (2013) Counter-Terrorism: InternationalLaw and Practice, The International Journal of Human Rights, 17:3, 441-442, DOI:10.1080/13642987.2012.750041
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2012.750041
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Counter-Terrorism: International Law and Practice, by AMS de Fras, KLH Samueland ND White (eds), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, 1156 pp. + lxxii, 165.00(hardback), ISBN 978-0-19-955380-8.
This weighty tome presents 36 chapters which offer a comprehensive overview ofcounter-terrorism in international law and practice. As might be expected from theimpressive international contributors, unfailingly fine scholarship abounds. The book isalso programmatic in that each chapter contains recommendations, albeit that mostare reiterations and even wistful. These conclusions are collected in the final chapter38, wherein the lack of a comprehensive definition of terrorism in international lawis bemoaned surprisingly loudly as a barrier to a fully coherent corpus of counter terror-ism laws (p. 1083). One might respond that conceptual gaps in international law have notpresented a barrier to international endeavours (just as international criminal law hasevolved without any overarching definition of crime), as evidenced by the previous1082 pages of commentary.
The book is organised according to five substantive parts: Part I: Counter-Terrorism andthe Rule of Law Framework; Part II: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on the Rule of Law inAction; Part III: Counter-Terrorism in Practice; Part IV: Judicial Responses; Part V: Non-Judicial Responses. However, this organisational pattern is not distinctly followed untilthe final two parts. While generally applauding this monumental effort, three cautionsmay be issued to intending readers.
The first is that the guiding rule of law doctrine is sometimes rather dim. The editorsseek to fill out that concept (Chapter 2: Katja L.H. Samuel: The Rule of Law Frameworkand its Lacunae) but admit that it embodies normative, interpretive and policy lacunae.Thus, it may not be surprising that many contributors are unevenly attentive to this organ-ising concept.
The second weak feature is that, despite the claim that the book does not merely reiter-ate what has gone on before (p. ix), by and large that is exactly what it conveys. Now thisbook still has great value as a compendious work of scholarship. But there is much materialthat has been rehearsed previously for example, it takes only until page 29 to find yetanother description of A v. Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKHL56 in its full glory. Adventurous and original contributions are the exceptions butinclude: Chapter 6 (Ben Saul: Criminality and Terrorism), Chapter 10 (Colm Campbell:Beyond Radicalization), Chapter 17 (David Turns: Classification, Administration, andTreatment of Battlefield Detainees), and Chapter 33 (Ilaria Bottigliero: Realizing theRight to Redress for Victims of Terrorist Attacks).
The third point is that while a book of this immense size can cover much ground, thevital areas of preventive policies or protective security arrangements are not explored,even though they firmly figure in the agenda of the EUs Counter Terrorism Strategy of2005 and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of 2006. Furthermore, while Africaand South America are explored repeatedly, the rich national and regional experiences ofAsia (including ASEANs Convention on Counter Terrorism 2007) are ignored.
The International Journal of Human Rights, 2013Vol. 17, No. 3, 441443
The verdict of the editors is that a criminal justice/preventive paradigm is both legitimateand effective for tackling terrorist threats, thereby reducing the military paradigm to situationsof armed conflict only (p. 1084). That outcome, so redolent of the enduring discourse of PaulWilkinson (Terrorism Versus Democracy, 3rd ed., Routledge, 2011), also meets the over-arching aim which is to determine how legitimate counter-terrorism security imperativesmay be accommodated within, rather than erode the international rule of law (p. ix). Thisline reflects those chapters (especially the excellent Chapter 7: Jelena Pejic: Armed Conflictand Terrorism) which reject the war on terror idiom. Misguided souls who seek a defenceof US exceptionalism must look elsewhere, but anyone who seeks a grounding in currentunderstandings of international counter-terrorism laws in the fields of criminal justice andexecutive measures in the rest of the world would do well to start here.
Joshua Skoczylis and Clive WalkerUniversity of Leeds
# 2013, Joshua Skoczylis and Clive Walkerhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2012.750041
Blame it on the WTO? A human rights critique, Sarah Joseph, Oxford, Oxford Univer-sity Press, 2011, 65 (hardback), ISBN: 978-0-19-956589-4.
This is an intriguing and immaculatelywell presented book that dealswith a controversial topicthat is frequently either totally ignored or given very little attention. Olivier DeScutter notes inthe foreword to the book that at the time of the establishment of theWorld Trade Organisation(WTO) in 1995 few human rights lawyers realised the significance of the event for their dis-cipline. This is certainly no longer the case and Professor Joseph has put together a formidablework in which she argues very strongly that many if not all criticisms of the WTO from ahuman rights point of view are actually valid. Not everyone will agree with her on thatpoint but she constructs her arguments skilfully and strongly, and while overall being criticalof theway inwhich theWTOoperates in relation to human rights issues she does recognise thatin some areas, although perhaps not many, it has actually been beneficial.
It is accepted by the author that at first glance, the WTOs mission seems utterly compa-tiblewith the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights. It is undoubtedly true thatthere has been an assumption bymany that the benefits of progress on free trade will inevitablybe good for society in that it will assist in the alleviation of poverty and increase general livingstandards for millions. Anything that leads to higher standards of living, from an economicperspective, should surely bring a range of benefits, including in health and education.However, the author argues persuasively that there has been insufficient recognition thatthere can also be negative consequences from following the rules of the WTO.
There is insufficient space in a review such as this to delve into the detail of the argumentsand to consider all the various areas which have been considered. The book is very wellorganised starting with an introductory chapter which provides an introduction to both theWTO and international human rights law regimes. My suspicion is that most of those whowill read this book are likely already to be very familiar with the human rights positionbut will probably know little about what the WTO actually is and what it does. The under-lying rationale of the WTO, as the author notes, is to preside over the reduction of trade bar-riers between nations, thereby promoting global free trade. Although only six pages in this
442 Book reviews