This module is a resource for lecturers


Most counter-terrorism measures can be adopted and carried out without any interference with or limitations upon human rights. In some circumstances, however, there will be a need to limit the enjoyment of certain human rights for the purpose of protecting the life, physical integrity and fundamental freedoms of others. Indeed, the protection of the right to life and other rights against violence by terrorist groups is in itself a primary obligation on States under international human rights law. The primary objectives of this Module are to examine the circumstances when international law permits the temporary suspension of certain rights in public emergency situations caused by terrorist activities, and the accompanying risks to, as well as legal safeguards to protect, the rule of law in such circumstances.

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse international and regional legal frameworks governing states of emergency.
  • Compare and contrast similarities and differences between international and regional approaches.
  • Introduce students to the concept of derogable and non-derogable rights and the implications thereof.
  • Understand potential risks to the rule of law as well as accompanying legal safeguards to protect it in emergency situations.
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