International Criminal Law and the Governance of Issues Related to Terrorism

Anoushka Chauhan,

NALSAR University of Law, India


Abstract. Following the events of 9/11, terrorism has taken a central role in the global debates on governance, humanitarian crises, and international relations. With there being no uniform definition of terrorism that all States can agree upon, forming counter- terrorist strategies has proven difficult. Similarly, the place of terrorism in International Criminal Law is highly contentious, and has not found permanent place within the International Criminal Court. This research paper discusses how international terrorism, despite its lack of a uniform definition, can be placed within the institutions of International Criminal Law in praxis. The paper is divided into three parts. Part I serves as an introductory part, discussing the working definitions of terrorism that have been adopted in customary international law, by the United Nations, and by International Criminal Tribunals, as well as discussing the drawbacks of such definitions. This part explains the reasons for the lack of consensus on a definition, and the implications and complications that arise due to it, such as a violation of the principle of legality. Part II of the paper briefly looks at how terrorism in international criminal law has dev􏰎elop􏰂􏰅ed as􏰁 a "tr􏰆􏰄􏰀eaty􏰄􏰇-cr􏰀ime",􏰈 􏰊which sets􏰄 up􏰁􏰃􏰅 for􏰂􏰀 t􏰄he dis􏰁cuss􏰃􏰁􏰁io􏰂n in Pa􏰀rt􏰄 III o􏰂f h􏰂􏰊ow t􏰄his􏰁 "tr􏰆􏰄􏰀eaty􏰄􏰇-cr􏰀ime"􏰈 natur􏰄􏰃􏰀e o􏰂f 􏰄terroris􏰁m has􏰁 pos􏰅􏰂􏰁ed a hind􏰀ance in its􏰄􏰁 inclus􏰃􏰁io􏰂n within the established institutions of International Criminal Law, such as the ICC. Despite its complete exclusion from the framework of the Rome Statute of the ICC, this paper discusses how terrorism can still be prosecuted within the ICC as either war crimes, or crimes against humanity. Thus, this paper attempts to show conclusively that despite the hindrances within the debate of terrorism􏰙from the lack of uniform definitions, to the systematic exclusion from the ICC􏰙 the development of the legal regime still has ample scope to effectively tackle international terrorism within the institutions of International Criminal Law.


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International Criminal Law and the Governance of Issues Related to Terrorism
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Indic Journal of International Law, e-ISSN: 2582-8398, Volume 1(2) (2021).