The IUP Journal of International Relations
Civil Liberty, Human Rights and Security vs. Counter-Terrorism Measures

Article Details
Pub. Date : Oct, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of International Relations
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIR21910
Author Name : Onwuchekwe Pius Tobechukwu, Ogwueleka Francisca Nonyelum and C Tammy Ayres
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 15



This paper critically evaluates issues involved in counter-terrorism as it affects national security, human rights and civil liberties, drawing on relevant academic theories and literatures in the field. The remarks of Theresa May after the London Bridge terrorist attack in 2017 and that of David Daves, after the Charlie Hebdo Paris terrorist attack in 2015, sparked a debate on the priority of counter-terrorism measures, national security, human rights and civil liberties. On the one hand, human rights institutions and academia believe in maximum respect to the rights and liberties of individuals and at no time should undermining these rights and liberties be considered a counter-terrorism option. Their argument is underpinned by the fact that undermining human rights fuels more acts of terrorism instead of curbing it. On the other hand, those fighting terrorism argue that the war on terror cannot be won with full protection of human rights and civil liberties. Their argument suggests that there is a need to restrict some human rights and civil liberties as terrorists utilize such freedom to attack and cause mayhem in the society. This paper critically reviews the concept of new terrorism employing Utilitarian theory, Risk theory, Social Contract and Packer’s model of Criminal Justice System (CJS). The paper advocates a careful and well-coordinated combination of Due Process and Crime Control models in the war against terrorism.


According to the United Nations (UN), human rights are inherent to all humans, despite the differences in color, background and origin, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).1 This declaration is binding on all nation-states who are members of the UN. The UDHR contains 30 articles of various enjoyable rights to all human beings. Civil liberties, on the other hand, are rights and freedoms that are enjoyed by citizens or residents of a nation-state. It is the protection of citizens against government action.2 The distinction would be that while human rights are enjoyed by all humans regardless of your ethnicity, color, citizenship, religion, culture among others and are protected primarily by the UN, civil liberties are only enjoyed and protected within a state by the national government.


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