The Practice of the United Nations in Combating Terrorism from 1946 to 2008

This book analyses the practice of the General Assembly and the Security Council in combating terrorism. It analyses the adopted counter-terrorism measures of both organs in terms of their legality and legitimacy.

Bibi van Ginkel
Human Rights Research Series
book | published | 1st edition
June 2010 | xvi + 460 pp.


ISBN 9789400000766

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Over the last thirty years, the UN has shown an unmistakable interest in combating terrorism. This book analyses the practice of the General Assembly and the Security Council in combating terrorism. It answers the question whether these organs, taking into account their powers and the constitutional and public international law limitations thereof, best contribute to a universal anti-terrorism policy.

In order to assess whether both organs are indeed fulfilling this purpose, the analysis of the adopted counter-terrorism measures of both the General Assembly and the Security Council focuses on their legality and legitimacy. Whereas the measures adopted should clearly fall within the powers of the organs (legality), testing the legitimacy of these measures adds another layer of information with regard to the quality of these measures. The analysis of the legitimacy of the anti-terrorism measures is based on the theory of Thomas Franck, who claims that a rule’s legitimacy provides information on the pull to compliance of the measure.

Apart from this critical analysis of the legality and the legitimacy of more than 130 resolutions adopted by both UN organs, this book offers an essential insight in the way the degree of legitimacy of certain measures can be improved, and how the overall effectiveness of the counter-terrorism policy of the UN can be strengthened.

About the book
‘[…] a well-conceived piece of research. Although pools of scholarly ink have already been spilled on this matter, Bibi van Ginkel for the first time provides a comprehensive analysis of the motivations, the characteristics and the outcomes of some 130 resolutions adopted by the UN in a period of over fifty years. […] significant food for thought for policymakers and researchers alike.’
Giulio Raffa in The International Spectator 46 (2011) 156

‘[…] an excellent book that will prove useful to scholars and practitioners from several overlapping fields of study. Those engaged in the enterprise of reforming the UN’s policies will find the book especially valuable for its sources, exhaustive analysis, and easy reference.’
Joseph Hicks in 49 Military Law and the Law of War Review (2010)446.


Table of Contents (p. 0)

PART I. General Framework

Chapter I. Introduction (p. 1)

Chapter II. Questions of legality and legitimacy (p. 31)

Chapter III. Powers of the General Assembly and the Security Council in combating terrorism (p. 89)

PART II. The Practice of the General Assembly and the Security Council in Combating Terrorism

Chapter IV. The practice of the General Assembly in combating terrorism (p. 129)

Chapter V. The practice of the Security Council in combating terrorism (p. 215)

PART III. Questions of Legality and Legitimacy

Chapter VI. The legality and legitimacy of General Assembly measures in combating terrorism (p. 269)

Chapter VII. Legality and legitimacy of the Security Council measures to combat terrorism (p. 305)

PART IV. Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations

Chapter VIII. A comprehensive and effective counter-terrorism policy? (p. 369)

Epilogue (p. 391)

Annexes (p. 393)

Samenvatting (p. 401)

Selected Bibliography (p. 415)

Table of Cases (p. 431)

Table of Treaties and Other Documents (p. 435)

Index (p. 449)

Curriculum Vitae (p. 455)

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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