Countering terrorism, which is a major preoccupation of states, raises serious questions for rights protections. This course will consider the connections between counter-terrorism and the right to life across a number of dimensions. First it will consider the extent to which taking effective steps to counter terrorism might itself be a means of realising and effectively protecting the right to life, and if so where the limits of any such interpretation might lie. It will then consider the ways in which states’ approaches to countering terrorism raise questions about the right to life. In this respect it will particularly cover questions about how positive obligations under Article 2 of the ECHR impact on the planning of counter-terrorism operations, as well as how the ECHR and relevant international humanitarian law standards might be said to regulate the use of targeted killing (including killing by drone). In particular, we will consider whether Article 2 effectively protects suspected terrorists' right to life or simply outlines the procedural steps to be followed by states in using lethal force to counter terrorism. 


Instructor: Prof. Dr. Fiona de Londras