nationalsecuritylaw forthcoming scholarship

"The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism

Kent Roach (Toronto)

Cambridge University Press (2011)

This book critically and comparatively examines the responses of the United Nations and a range of countries to the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. It assesses the convergence between the responses of western democracies including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada with countries with more experience with terrorism including Egypt, Syria, Israel, Singapore, and Indonesia. A number of common themes – the use of criminal law and immigration law, the regulation of speech associated with terrorism, the review of the state’s whole of government counter-terrorism activities, and the development of national security policies – are discussed. The book provides a critical take on how the United Nations promoted terrorism financing laws and listing processes and the regulation of speech associated with terrorism but failed to agree on a definition of terrorism or the importance of respecting human rights while combating terrorism. It also assesses the failures of the American extra-legal approach and departures from criminal justice and the challenges of transnational cooperation and accountability for counter-terrorism.

A Qualified Defense of American Drone Attacks in Northwest Pakistan Under International Humanitarian Law

Robert P. Barnidge, Jr.

University of Reading, School of Law

Boston University International Law Journal, forthcoming

This paper examines the lawfulness under international humanitarian law of one of the most important and controversial aspects of the Obama Administration‟s approach to fighting terrorism, the use of drone attacks in northwest Pakistan. It begins by exploring developments in drone technology and locates this discussion within the context of the American drone campaign in northwest Pakistan. Since arriving at the legal frame of reference for assessing each of these attacks under international humanitarian law requires determining whether an armed conflict paradigm applies and, if so, how the armed conflict at issue should be classified, this paper then turns to exploring these issues from the perspective of law. It then examines three persistent issues that have arisen in the context of the American drone campaign in northwest Pakistan: the question of collateral damage, with particular reference to the drone attack that killed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mehsud in August 2009, the concern of the 2010 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, Philip Alston, that “[i]t is not possible for the international community to verify the legality of a killing, to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of intelligence relied upon, or to ensure that unlawful targeted killings do not result in impunity,” and the legal implications of Central Intelligence Agency involvement in drone attacks. Ultimately, this paper concludes that American drone attacks in northwest Pakistan are not as such unlawful under international humanitarian law, though, like any method and means of warfare in the context of asymmetric warfare, they should be continuously and closely monitored according to the dictates of law and sensitivity to the facts on the ground.

Anti-Terrorism and Criminal Enforcement

Norm Abrams (UCLA)


From Norm: With the usual apologies about self-promotion, I wanted to let you know that the fourth edition of my Anti-terrorism and Criminal Enforcement casebook is in press and will be published in time for January classes.

The new edition is a major overhaul: the book has been streamlined and shortened to provide a coherent, up-to-date treatment of the significant legal issues that arise in U.S. terrorism investigations and prosecutions.

If anyone would like to take a look at the Preface, which describes the contents of the book in some detail, please contact me off-list.

With best wishes,

Norman Abrams


Tel. 310-794-4056

"Defense Authorization: The Senate’s Last Best Hope"

APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper

COLLEEN SHOGAN, Congressional Research Service

For the past 49 years, defense authorizations bills have passed the super-majoritarian Senate. In an era in which authorizations are largely non-existent, how does the Senate Armed Services committee continue to find ways to pass the defense authorization bill? This paper is based on over 20 in-person interviews with current and former Senate defense staffers. It provides a description of the defense authorization process in the Senate, and also explains why Senate Armed Services has been so successfull in enacting the defense authorization bill for decades.

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