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16 Minn. J. Int'l L. 353 (2007)
Human Rights Protection during the War on Terror: Two Steps Back, One Step Forward

handle is hein.journals/mjgt16 and id is 365 raw text is: Cite as: 16 MINN. J. INT'L L. 353

Human Rights Protection during the War
on Terror: Two Steps Back, One Step
Shane Darcy*
The aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001 has
seen a concerted and sustained rolling-back of many of the
fundamental      human     rights   guarantees     protected    by
international law. In the name of security, several States have
engaged in practices such as torture, indefinite detention,
disappearance and the denial of fair trial rights. The rules of
international humanitarian law have also been violated, with
some of the central protections denied to persons designated as
unlawful combatants. It has also been claimed that some
contemporary legal norms are a hindrance to the pursuit of the
war on terror. John Reid, the United Kingdom's Secretary of
State for Defense, has openly questioned the adequacy of
international law to deal with the contemporary threat from
international terrorists, specifically identifying the 1949
Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols as part of an
international framework which he perceives as not having
adapted to changing circumstances.' Since September 11th,
there has been an assault on both the human rights of
individual persons and on the corpus of laws that seeks to
protect those rights.
Lecturer, Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster.
1. John Reid, MP, Sec'y of State for Def., Address at the Royal United Services
Inst. for Def. & Sec. Studies, 20th-Century Rules, 21st-Century Conflict (Apr. 06,
2006), http://www.mod.uk/Defencelnternet/DefenceNews/DefencePolicyAndBusiness
/ReidAddressesRusiOn20thcenturyRules2lstcenturyConflict.htm (last visited Feb.
11, 2007). See also Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, Prime Minister's Press
Conference (Aug. 5, 2005), http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page804l.asp
(stating that the rules of the game are changing with regard to measures to be
taken in the fight against terrorism) (last visited Feb. 11, 2007).

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