Human rights litigation and the "war on terror"
30-09-2008 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 871, by Helen Duffy
The "War on Terror" has led to grave human rights violations and, in response, to a growing volume of human rights litigation. The article provides an overview of litigation that has unfolded in recent years in relation to issues such as arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, extraordinary rendition, extra-territorial application of human rights norms and the creeping reach of the "terrorism" label. These cases provide a prism which displays key characteristics of the war on terror as it affects human rights, and enables us to begin to ask questions regarding the role of the courts and the impact of human rights litigation in this area.
Helen Duffy is the Litigation Director of INTERIGHTS, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights.