SSRN-id1373590

Counter-Terrorism Law and Practice: An International Handbook

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Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1373590 1 Beyond “Freedom Fighters” and “Terrorists”: When, if Ever, is Non-State Violence Legitimate in International Law? 1 Frédéric Mégret Assistant-Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University Canada Research Chair in the Law of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism Contents Legitimate ends . .............................................................................................................................. 5 Resistance to colonization. .......................................................................................................... 6 Resistance to aggression and illegal occupation . ........................................................................ 8 Resistance to international crimes and massive human rights violations . ................................ 10 Resistance to tyranny and totalitarianism . ................................................................................ 12 Legitimate means . ......................................................................................................................... 13 Humanitarian law . ..................................................................................................................... 15 Human rights law . ..................................................................................................................... 16 Legitimate conditions. ................................................................................................................... 20 Subsidiarity . .............................................................................................................................. 20 Proportionality . ......................................................................................................................... 22 “Right authority” . ...................................................................................................................... 23 Reasonable prospects of success . .............................................................................................. 25 Conclusion . ................................................................................................................................... 26 1 I am grateful to Vrouyr Makalian and Allison Rhoades for their precious research assistance on this paper.
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Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1373590 2 There is no doubt that “terrorism” as a label covers some acts, particularly wanton and indiscriminate violence against civilians. Professor Kalliopi Koufa never recoiled from using the label when it was deserved. However, one of her great contributions as Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Terrorism was also her alertness to the fact that the label has been used to describe behavior that should not by any standard fall under it, and her constant refusal to encourage that movement. She has been constantly worried, for example, about “the tendency of some States to obstruct international purview of the true internal situation by use of the ‘terrorist’
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SSRN-id1373590 - Beyond "Freedom Fighters" and...

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