Available translations: English العربيّة

Reference on terrorism and rule of the law

Graphic: Prison wall and barbed wire

At the 7th Annual Meeting (2002), the Forum Council requested the Advisory Council of Jurists (ACJ) to consider a reference on terrorism and the rule of law, with a particular focus on the obligations of States to maintain human rights standards and the rule of law while addressing security threats.

In its Final Report, the ACJ said that terrorism is a violation of the human rights of victims and cannot be justified. As such, States have a duty to protect potential victims from those human rights violations.

However, the ACJ also expressed concern about the widening gap between stated commitments to international human rights standards and the implementation of those standards in national anti-terrorism laws and administrative practices.

Some of the "disturbing practices" noted by the ACJ include:

  • Extrajudicial killings
  • Prolonged detention without charge or judicial review
  • Failure to ensure legal access from the time of detention
  • Targeting of minority groups
  • Lack of safeguards in anti-terrorism laws to prevent their misuse, and
  • Potential for anti-terrorism laws to stifle legitimate political dissent and undermine freedom of expression and freedom of information.

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the international human rights law and standards that relate to anti-terrorism measures, as well as detailed information and recommendations in relation to the anti-terrorism laws enacted in each APF member country.


Graphic: APF logo

ACJ Report on Terrorism and the Rule of Law

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the international human rights laws and standards that relate to anti-terrorism measures.


Image credits

  1. Prison wall and barbed wire - APF/James Iliffe