25 Nordisk Tidsskrift for Menneskerettigheter 1 (2007)

handle is hein.journals/norjhur25 and id is 1 raw text is: 









To DISCOJNT HJMAN RIGHTS


                 AND INSCRIBE THEM WITH FAKENESS
             AND UNRELIABILITY, OR TO UPHOLD THEM
   AND ENGRAVE THEM WITH INTEGRITY AND RELIABILITY? -
 UK EXPERIENCES IN THE AGE OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM


                                By BEN CHIGARA*


    Human beings owe to each other help to distinguish the better from the worse, and
    encouragement to choose the former and avoid the latter. They should be forever stimu-
    lating each other to increased exercise of their higher faculties and increased direction
    of their feelings and aims towards wise instead of foolish; elevating instead of degra-
    ding objects and contemplations.
                                                                   John Stuart Mill


Abstract: The article tests the validity of the argument that the increasing of threat of inter-
national terrorism that is managed and dispensed by non-State actors authorises States to
backtrack on their human rights commitments in order to ensure national security - the
human rights/national security dichotomy. The article weighs this argument against the logic
that underpins the human rights project. The article argues that human rights have become
both the DNA of human dignity and index for the rule of law in democratic States. Therefore,
whatever strategies States adopt to combat international terrorism ought always to comply
with States 'international human rights obligations. Considerations of national security that
seek to undermine the dignity inherent in individuals qua human beings are misguided and
inconsistent with the rule of law upon which democratic States are premised. Consequently,
they are not logically sustainable.
Keywords: human rights, rule of law, national security, international terrorism


                              A. INTRODUCTION

The growing threat of international terrorism has consumed local and international attention
like no other subject in recent times. Consequently, the attention of human rights lawyers and


    * Ben Chigara, Ph.D. (Nottingham), Professor of International Law & Deputy Head of School
(Operations), Brunel Law School, Brunel University, West London, UK.
    Email: ben.chigara@brunel.ac.uk

NORDISKTIDSSKRIFT FOR MENNESKERETTIGHETER- VOL. 25, NR 1, S. 1 16. ISSN 1503-6480
(C) UNIVERSITETSFORLAGET 2007

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