T.M.C Asser Institute is hosting its first live webinar featuring experts who will provide you with a legal perspective on current affairs. In the session Counterterrorism – a ‘forever and anywhere war?’ Asser’s counter-terrorism researchers Dr Rumyana van Ark and Ms Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi will explore the ever-growing overlaps between times and spaces of war and peace in the context of counter-terrorism.
One of the questions they will discuss is whether law facilitates such overlaps. Other issues to be addressed include how current counter-terrorism and national security practices at home and abroad tend to revolve around the objective of anticipating threats and identifying dangerous individuals before hostile or criminal acts have taken place.
A ‘forever and anywhere war’?
Ms Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi will explore how the United States (for years supported by the UK) and France are involved in a forever ‘war’ against terrorist networks making the temporal and geographical scopes of these wars increasingly indefinite. How do states exploit the grey zones in international law principles to legitimise such ‘forever and anywhere wars’? Ms Mignot-Mahdavi will dive into jus ad bellum, the core international criteria that are to be consulted before engaging in war to determine if entering into war is permissible, and the jus in bello, the rules of international humanitarian law that govern the way in which warfare is conducted.
A logic of exclusion
Dr Rumyana van Ark will investigate the impact of a ‘forever and anywhere war’ and in particular the blurring of temporality lines within domestic counter-terrorism practices. Dr van Ark will focus on select aspects of UK’s current counter-terrorism practices with particular emphasis on ones that have entrenched the ‘othering’ of certain individuals and amplified enmity towards their communities. What is particularly problematic is the imposition of these measures in the pre-criminal rather than the criminal spaces. According to Dr van Ark these intrusive security practices, administrative measures and/or criminal sanctions further embed the overlaps between times and spaces of war and peace in the context of counter-terrorism.
This counter-terrorism brief is part of the Asser research strand Human Dignity and Human Security in International and European Law which adopts as its normative framework a human rights approach to contemporary global challenges, inter alia in the fields of counter-terrorism, especially with regard to the topic of foreign (terrorist) fighters, international and transnational crimes, new technologies and artificial intelligence, and historical memory.