The migration and derivation of counter-terrorism

Authored by: Kent Roach

Routledge Handbook of Law and Terrorism

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415870375
eBook ISBN: 9780203795835
Adobe ISBN: 9781134455096


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Much research has focused on examining the proliferation of counter-terrorism laws and to a lesser extent on comparing the approaches of different countries. Not enough attention, however, has been paid to the migration and derivation of counter-terrorism laws. Migration refers to a process where a law or a part thereof enacted in one jurisdiction or in one field of law is adapted and migrates to another jurisdiction or other field of law. This process has been called transplantation, harmonisation or even viral propagation, but the concept of migration more accurately captures the subtle changes made to laws as they migrate. Even minor changes are often expressive of important differences in a country’s political, legal or social culture and its history. Even an identical law that migrated would have a different meaning in a different legal or political system. A counter-terrorism law drafted in London has a different meaning when transplanted to Kuala Lumpur. The derivation of a law refers to the original sources of a particular law. Understanding the derivation of a particular law often captures its migration over time and space. There is a literature on the migration of law, 1 but it has not focused on counter-terrorism law even though the migration phenomena may be particularly intense with respect to counter-terrorism law. 2 Transnational bodies,such as the Financial Action Task Force 3 , the EU 4 and the UN Security Council, 5 have promoted the migration of counter-terrorism laws by encouraging countries to enact counter-terrorism laws often with specific requirements.

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