Jus in Bello and the Acts of Terrorism: A Study

Jus in Bello and the Acts of Terrorism: A Study

Mohammad Saidul Islam (Department of Law, International Islamic University Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2466-4.ch080

Abstract

Terrorism is a big threat to international peace and security. The rapid and substantial development of terrorist groups across the globe has highly complicated the application and implementation of the international humanitarian law. People have been facing this heinous violent act from time immemorial, but recently it has increased enormously. This study presents the legal and conceptual reasoning and justifications of the act of terrorism as an armed conflict. It also examines whether it is an international armed conflict or non-international armed conflict where the international humanitarian law can be applied.
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The Concept Of Terrorism

The killing of Jean-Louis Barthou, French Statesman and King Alexander of Yugoslavia in 1934, and many other incidents of terrorism at the beginning of 19th century inspired the League of Nations to frame a convention defining Terrorism- the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism (CPPT) 1937 (Maogoto and Mac Carrick, 2010: 6). The CPPT defined terrorism as “criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a State of terror in the minds of particular persons, or a group of persons or the general public (Art.1.2, CPPT).” This courageous initiative to define terrorism by CPPT never came into force but it paved a platform for future discussion on terrorism by the United Nations and other regional and international organisations from legal and political perspective (Ruperez, 2006: 2). Yet this lack of universally accepted definition of terrorism created a hurdle to take a strong and unified stance against the terrorism (Setty, 2011: 7) and this convention could not play any effective role to reducing terrorism and counter-terrorism leading to gradual increase of terrorist attacks and the modern terrorism largely came into being after the Second World War (Roser, Nagdy and Ritchie, 2018).

The decolonization and liberation of most of the fighting States, after the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, contributed to reduce the terror violence in the world but in the 1970s, new ethnic groups and ideologically motivated groups came into existence with big tension for peace-loving countries. These groups engaged in the armed conflicts with governments or State and started to use terror violence against civilians or other protected persons and objects with a view to achieving their goals. For example, random aircraft hijacking, e.g., some 121 aircrafts were hijacked for the period from January 1948 through the beginning of September 1969 (Evans, 1969: 697), again kidnapping and assassination of nine Israeli athletes by the Black September terrorists from the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 (Combs, 2012: 27), and hijacking the Air France Flight in 1976 (Francis, 1982: 32).

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