Counter-Terrorism Law and Practice: An International Handbook by A. Sambei, A. Du Plessis, and M. Polaine

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  • makers will see the possibilities offered and decide to act or simply ignore yet anotherpowerful book on the common assumption (among policy makers and not only) thatwhoever is not pro-prohibition is pro-drugs.


    van Duyne, P.C. and Levi, M. (2005) Drugs and Money: Managing the Drug Trade and Crime-Money in Europe, London: Routledge.

    GEORGIOS A. ANTONOPOULOSSenior Lecturer in Criminology,School of Social Sciences and Law,Teesside University,Middlesbrough.

    Counter-Terrorism Law and Practice: An International Handbook A. Sambei, A. Du Plessisand M. Polaine. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2009) 804pp. d125.00hb ISBN 978-0-19-955380-8

    Transnational terrorism has resulted in an increasingly unwieldy body of interna-tional, European and domestic counter-terrorism law and practice that hasproliferated in the 21st Century in fragmented and confusing ways. This book bringsclarity to a complex area without oversimplification and is addressed to legalpractitioners, law enforcement agents and government officials (p.vii) who must beable to efficiently use counter terrorism law and practice.

    The authors bring unparalleled experience of working in the areas covered by thetext. Their overarching aim for the book is that it should function as a comprehensiveoverview of the most relevant legal principles applicable to law enforcement andcriminal justice responses to terrorism (p.15). They also state that their aim in thebook is to set out the international framework created by the UN counter-terrorisminstruments and UNSCRs (United Nations Security Council Resolutions), along withregional initiatives, . . . highlight the key measures which impact upon criminalisation,the assuming of jurisdiction and international cooperation . . . (p.15) and considerindividual national laws with an emphasis on the criminal justice response by the UKand other common law jurisdictions without . . . neglecting the civil law tradition(p.15). They have successfully achieved their goals and have provided an invaluableand unique guide to counter terrorism law and practice.

    The text is organised into nine chapters and 25 appendices of primary sourcedocuments (resolutions, conventions and domestic legislation as well as precedents).Terms are clearly defined, with excellent analysis of relevant cases and judicialinterpretation. The text is reliably cross-referenced and the division of each chapterinto much smaller numerical sections makes it easy to research a specific issue throughthe text. The law is clearly explained, interpretational issues highlighted and, whereappropriate, the need for other international documents and/or practices to be readalongside the law is considered. The UN framework for combating internationalterrorism is outlined, European frameworks are interrogated and the US preference forextrajudicial responses critiqued. Time is taken in each chapter to consider specific legalregulation and to explain the case-by-case approach of domestic states which areindividually charged with the enforcement of international agreements, law and practicein the area of counter terrorism. The text also interrogates the continuing preference forthe use of criminal domestic law to deal with specific instances of transnational terrorism.

    Chapter 1 considers what terrorism might be, the situations in which it can arise,and its definition in international law. Chapter 2 discusses the developing role of the

    310r 2010 The AuthorsJournal compilation r 2010 The Howard League and Blackwell Publishing Ltd

    The Howard Journal Vol 49 No 3. July 2010ISSN 0265-5527, pp. 308312

  • United Nations and, in particular, the UN Security Council, in implementing the UNsGlobal Counter-terrorism strategy. It also gives an overview of the UNs instruments inthe area of counter terrorism, and the criminalisation of terrorism. Chapter 3 considersthe international, European and domestic dimensions through the laying out andinterrogation of a range of conventions (from The Hague Convention to The NuclearTerrorism Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 1373). An invaluablediscussion of instances of criminalisation within domestic law takes place before thechapter turns to an extended case-study of UK terrorist offences offered as an exampleof how a domestic regime can implement UN counter-terrorism instruments.

    Chapter 4 looks at each stage of the process in the investigative and legal arenas,and particularly considers surveillance and covert methods. An important UK case-law based study to illustrate best practice is discussed in detail in relation to European,UK and Commonwealth procedure. Chapter 5 deals with traditional trial and pre-trialissues (for example, case management, evidential burdens, burden of proof, right tosilence) and includes an important and informative section on the role of media andadverse comment. Each area is extensively discussed in relation to UK law.

    Chapter 6 turns the spotlight on the issues raised by eliminating and prosecuting thefinancing of terrorism, concentrating on international measures, UNSCRs and the work ofinternational initiatives through the banking industry such as the Financial Act Task Force(FATF) established by the G7 in 1989. It is widely recognised that one of the main ways inwhich monies can be used to finance terrorism is through the use of alternative remittancesystems, operating without reference to banking or other financial institutions. These arelawful alternatives and the best known is probably hawala which is widespread not only inthe United Arab Emirates and Asia but also in the UK. Chapter 7 considers these systems,the pros and cons of trying to control their use and how such controls might be imposed.

    Chapter 8 considers the human rights implications of counter terrorism pro-visions. The rights are set out, definitions of state discussed, and the extra territorialnature of human rights considered. The sources of international human rights andlinks and differences with international humanitarian law are also laid out and thecontexts of the respective laws in peace and in war explained. Enabling the reader tomake sense of the often conflicting nature of the relationship between human rightsand counter terrorism law and practice.

    Chapter 9 reviews international co-operation and although the framework andprocedures for co-operation are complex and confusing, the chapter manages to set theseout clearly, emphasising the importance of international co-operation despite its problems.A particularly useful critique is given of comity and the problems caused when under-standings between particular states are used to by-pass formal extradition requirements.The chapter also considers the strategies of informal and formal Mutual Legal Assistance(MLA), the minefield that is rendition, and the use of the European Arrest Warrant, crossborder investigations and the importance of the abolition of any safe havens.

    This book is an excellent, accessible guide to a difficult, increasingly broad,complex and important area. As a handbook the practical dimension is deliberatelymore in evidence than the critical, but the critique and references for further study arealso laid out with extremely useful references and comments. This makes the text avaluable resource, not just for the practitioner, but for the student and the academicwhose study and research necessitates a working knowledge, and understanding ofthe area of counter terrorism law and practice; and for the UK academic, theconcentration on the UK legal system is invaluable.

    SHARON HANSONSenior Lecturer in Law,Department of Law and Criminal Justice Studies,Canterbury Christ Church University.

    311r 2010 The Authors

    Journal compilation r 2010 The Howard League and Blackwell Publishing Ltd

    The Howard Journal Vol 49 No 3. July 2010ISSN 0265-5527, pp. 308312