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Self-Determination, Terrorism and the International Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict

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ISBN13: 9789041101228
ISBN: 9041101225
Published: July 1998
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Format: Hardback
Price: £119.00



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A preliminary definition of international terrorism was agreed by the world community in 1937. Since then, a World War and the Cold War have made any such modern consensus impossible. In particular, the UN principles of equal rights and self-determination of ""peoples"" have caused political and juridical confusion, in that liberation fighters who utilize terror methods as one tactic in an overall political strategy to achieve self-determination are frequently termed ""terrorists"", and are prosecuted as such.;In order to regulate wars of self-determination under international law, and to control the means and methods of warfare utilized in them, international humanitarian law (IHL) was extended in 1977 to include armed conflicts for the right to self-determination ""as enshrined in ... the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations"". Thus, acts of terrorism perpetrated during armed struggles for self-determination are separable from random acts of international violence and, when perpetrated by states or insurgent forces during wars of self-determination, may be prosecuted under IHL as war crimes.;However, although states are obliged to seek out and prosecute the perpetrators of illicit acts of warfare, they rarely do so. Dr Chadwick argues that, should IHL be fully utilized during wars of self-determination, if only for purposes of guidance, the separability of illicit acts of war would enable the international community to reach consensus more easily in regard to a definition of terrorism in general, and a co-ordination of efforts to deter its occurrence.

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Contents:
1. Self-determination, terrorism and the international humanitarian law or armed conflicts.
2. The evolution of the right to self-determination through the perspective of resort to violence.
3. Examples of ""peoples"" achieving the right to self-determination through resort to violence.
4. The effects of wars of self-determination on the evolution of IHL.
5. Terrorists and freedom fighters: the failure of state-centred codification efforts to deter acts of international terrorism.
6. Strategies behind terror-violence, and the scope of the potential applicability of IHL.
7. Political consequences of the applicability of IHL to liberation struggles.
8. Legal obstacles to prosecution of breaches of IHL.