A Disrupted Balance?

Since the 9/11 attacks combating terrorism has gained top priority within Dutch politics. This book discusses the scope of the preventive-oriented Dutch anti-terrorism legislation and its impact on fundamental legal rights and principles of law as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. It analyses criminal liability for terrorist offences and discuses in particular the level of suspicion that is required to apply state powers to prevent acts of terrorism in light of the relevant fundamental legal rights.
Karin Veegens
Human Rights Research Series
book | published | 1st edition
December 2011 | xxii + 638 pp.


ISBN 9781780680422

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Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA, combating terrorism has gained top priority in Dutch politics. This counter-terrorism policy primarily focuses on prevention and has led to extensive anti-terrorism legislation in the field of substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. However, existing public order law and private law are used to counter terrorism as well, while legislative initiatives to better prevent terrorism were taken in the field of administrative law. The European Union has also adopted a firm anti-terrorism policy which led to national anti-terrorism legislation.

This book discusses the scope of the prevention-oriented Dutch anti-terrorism legislation within and beyond criminal law and its impact on principles of (criminal) law and on fundamental legal rights as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights – which in case of the Netherlands is higher law. The central question is to what extent the statutory criteria for the application of pre-trial anti-terrorism powers and measures and their practical implementation, especially as regards to the required level of suspicion, within the criminal justice system, public order law, administrative law and European Union law, are in compliance with the relevant fundamental legal rights and principles of law as enshrined in the applicable European treaties.

To answer this question, three important aspects of the Dutch legislative anti-terrorism policy are discussed. Firstly, it is ascertained what in fact constitutes an act of terrorism according to the Dutch criminal law system, and how, and to what extent, the criminalisation of terrorism affects criminal liability, particularly during the pro-active phase. Secondly, the book discusses what level of suspicion is required to apply which powers and/or measures to prevent terrorism. Thirdly, the way the application of these state powers, particularly in light of their criteria for application, affects which fundamental legal rights and principles of law is scrutinised.

Is there in fact a disrupted balance between the need to prevent acts of terrorism and mandatory compliance with fundamental legal rights and principles of law? If so, to what extent, and regarding which legal anti-terrorism instruments? Are there ways to ensure full compliance with these legal rights and principles throughout the state’s legitimate endeavour of effectively countering terrorism?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (p. 0)

Chapter I. Terrorism as Timeless Trend: An Introduction (p. 1)

Chapter II. The Criminalisation of Terrorist Offences (p. 11)

Chapter III. Allegedly Involved in Terrorist Activities (p. 117)

Chapter IV. Assumed Connections with Terrorism (p. 137)

Chapter V. Indications of a Terrorist Offence (p. 165)

Chapter VI. A Reasonable Suspicion (p. 251)

Chapter VII. Serious Objections (p. 341)

Chapter VIII. Blacklisted as Terrorist (p. 417)

Chapter IX. Conclusions and Recommendations (p. 479)

Bibliography (p. 555)

Summary (p. 599)

Samenvatting (p. 615)

Curriculum Vitae (p. 633)

Open access content

Parts of this book have been made open access. We make chapters open access because they are particularly topical, or provide a useful introduction to the subject. They may be available for a limited time or indefinitely. Some books are entirely and permanently open access.

Table of Contents (p. 0)
Bibliography (p. 555)
Summary (p. 599)
Samenvatting (p. 615)
Curriculum Vitae (p. 633)

About the series:

Human Rights Research Series

The Human Rights Research Series’ central research theme is the nature and meaning of international standards in the field of human rights, their application and promotion in the national legal order, their interplay with national standards, and the international supervision of such application. Anyone directly involved in the definition, study, implementation, monitoring, or enforcement of human rights will find this series an indispensable reference tool.

The Series is published together with the world famous Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (formerly School of Human Rights Research), a joint effort by human rights researchers in the Netherlands.

Editorial Board: Prof. dr. Antoine Buyse (Utrecht University), Prof. dr. Fons Coomans (Maastricht University), Prof. dr. Yvonne Donders (Chair - University of Amsterdam), Dr. Antenor Hallo de Wolf (University of Groningen), Prof. dr. Kristin Henrard (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. dr. Nicola Jägers (Tilburg University), Prof. Titia Loenen (Leiden University) Prof. dr. Janne Nijman (T.M.C. Asser Instituut) and Prof. dr. Brigit Toebes (University of Groningen).

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