Experts Discuss the Effectiveness and Legality of Counterterrorism Measures

At an expert meeting – online due to the COVID19 pandemic – leading international humanitarian and human rights legal scholars, social scientists, and practitioners discussed the legal, scientific, and practical aspects of counterterrorism measures, with a focus on their effectiveness, side effects, and legality.

Organized by the Counter-Terror Pro LegEm Project and the Geneva Academy, the meeting examined the effectiveness of measures to prevent and counter terrorism – closure of places of worship, vague prohibitions of ‘glorification of terrorism’, stop-and-search operations – and their impact on human rights.

‘To determine the legality, necessity, and proportionality of these measures under international human rights law, it is useful to evaluate their effectiveness and potential side-effects using social science methods and research on terrorism and violent extremism. This is precisely what we’ve done during this meeting’ underlines Professor Gloria Gaggioli, Director of the Geneva Academy.

The meeting’s findings will be synthesized and used to draft a policy guidance document on how to devise and monitor counterterrorism measures to ensure their effectiveness and conformity with international human rights law.

Surveillance camera

The Counter-Terror Pro LegEm Project.

Counter-Terror Pro LegEm is a four-year research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and led by our Director, Professor Gloria Gaggioli.

The project combines legal analysis with social science research to examine the effectiveness of counterterrorism measures and their effects on human rights. It also analyses the structure of terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State and sees whether they qualify as ‘organized armed groups’ for the purpose of international humanitarian law.

The project’s outputs will include an empirical analysis of contemporary counter-terrorism measures with a thorough legal analysis under human rights law and international humanitarian law, as well as the above-mentioned policy guidance for states and international organizations.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

A group photo of participants in the pilot focused review News

Pilot Exercise Brings UN Treaty Bodies from Geneva to the Field

14 December 2021

From 7 to 9 December 2021, the Geneva Human Rights Platform conducted in Sierra Leone and in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat a pilot of a United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs) focused review – i.e. a review carried out between the reporting cycles at the national level and designed to discuss how countries implement specific recommendations issued by UN TBs.

Read more

Statute representing justice News

New Working Paper Details the Concept and Need for a Global Transitional Justice Process

25 January 2022

Our new Working Paper by Professor Olivier de Frouville, based on his keynote speech at the Geneva Academy 2021 Graduation Ceremony, discusses the need for – and existing premises – a Global Transitional Justice Process.

Read more

Soldier holding a rifle Event

The Wagner Group: Options for Justice

9 June 2022, 18:00-19:30

This IHL Talk aims at clarifying the relevant frameworks of responsibility for the crimes committed by the Wagner troops.

Read more

Cover page of the book Event

Book Launch: ‘Unravelling Unlawful Confinement in Contemporary Armed Conflicts’

25 May 2022, 18:00-20:00

This event marks the launch of our LLM alumna Jelena Plamenac’s award-winning book ‘Unravelling Unlawful Confinement in Contemporary Armed Conflicts’ published by Brill.

Read more

Plastic pollution Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

12-16 September 2022

This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.

Read more

Yemen,  Sana'a, Faj Attan district. Destruction. Short Course

From Use of Force to Responsibility to Protect

19 May - 3 June 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, provides an overview of the evolution of the rules governing the use of force in international law, focusing on military intervention on humanitarian grounds and the creation of the United Nations collective security system. It then addresses the concept of the responsibility to protect.

Read more

A wheelchair completely destroyed after the bombing of a civilian area Project

Disability and Armed Conflict

Completed in May 2016

This project aimed to ensure better protection of and assistance for persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath by identifying legal obligations to protect and assist persons with disabilities during conflict, and the policies and practices required to put these obligations into effect.

Read more

Futuristic Robot Arm Interacting with Screen Project

Disruptive Technologies and Rights-Based Resilience

Started in July 2021

This project will facilitate a multistakeholder consultative process to identify knowledge gaps, generate new evidence and co-design evidence-based tools to support regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Regulating business conduct in the technology sector gaps and ways forward in applying the UNGPs

published on April 2022

Ana Beduschi, Isabel Ebert

Read more