Terrorism has become one of the major threats facing both states and the international community, in particular after the terrorist attacks in the United States, Madrid and London, which revealed a whole new scale and dimension of the phenomenon. An effective response is absolutely necessary; this response, however, cannot undermine democracy, human rights, the rule of law or the supreme values inherent to these principles.
There is no universally agreed definition of "terrorism", nor is there an international Jurisdiction before which the perpetrators of terrorist crimes can be brought to account. The European Court of Human Rights is the first international Jurisdiction to deal with such a phenomenon. For many decades and through more than four hundred cases, it has elaborated a clear, integrated and articulated body of case law on responses to terrorism from a human rights and rule of law perspective.
Thus, this is a handbook on counter-terrorism with a special focus on due respect for human rights and rule of law. This book compiles the doctrine laid down by the European Court of Human Rights in this field with a view to facilitating the task of adjudicators, legal officers, lawyers, international IGOs, NGOs, policy makers, researchers, victims and all those committed to fighting this scourge.
The book presents a careful analysis of this body of case law and the general principles applicable to the fight against terrorism resulting from each particular case. It also includes a compendium of the main cases dealt with by the Strasbourg Court in this field and will prove to be a most useful guiding tool in the sensitive area of counter-terrorism and human rights.