Counter-Terrorism Law and Practice: An International Handbook

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III. C OUNTERING T ERRORISM ON A G LOBAL S CALE Negotiating the Draft Comprehensive Convention on InternationalTerrorism Major Bones of Contention Mahmoud Hmoud* Abstract Negotiating a Comprehensive Convention on InternationalTerrorism has been a long and intense process.The legal regime to be created by this instrument has significant legal and political consequences. The main issues, which would frame such con- sequences, are how to define the crime and decide the scope of application of such a Convention.These have proven to be problematic, as negotiators have revisited issues that have been a source of debate for years, even centuries. Who has the right to participate in an armed conflict without being described as a terrorist by the Convention? To what extent do we allow the overlap between international humani- tarian law and the Convention’s law, if any? Do military forces have the right to be outside the scope of the Convention even in peace time? These are the main questions that the negotiators have been trying to answer in order to reach a compromise that will satisfy all parties. If genuine political will exists to conclude the Comprehensive Convention, there is no absence of legal answers that can guarantee an effective law enforcement instrument against international terrorism, without infringing on legal rights and positions under international law. 1. Introduction In its resolution 54/110 of 9 December 1999, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to begin consideration with a view to the elaboration of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. It entrusted with this task both the Ad Hoc Committee established by its resolution 51/210 * Legal Advisor to the Jordanian Foreign Ministry; member, International Law Commission. The views in this article are made in a personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect those of the Jordanian government. [[email protected]] ............................................................................ Journal of International Criminal Justice 4 (2006), 1031^1043 doi:10.1093/jicj/mql081 ß Oxford University Press, 2006, All rights reserved. For permissions please email: [email protected] by alaa rashed on June 14, 2010 http://jicj.oxfordjournals.org Downloaded from
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of 17 December 1996 (the ‘Ad Hoc Committee’) and a working group of the General Assembly’s Sixth (legal) Committee (the ‘Working Group’). This development was mainly the result of deliberations within the Ad Hoc Committee and the Working Group when some delegations requested that a comprehensive legal framework to combat acts of terrorism be developed. 1
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