Defending Democracy through Counter-Terrorism Legislation?

Room: 
Town Hall - Committee Room 2
Time Slot: 
Monday 30th March 16:00 - 17:30
Panel Chair: 
  • Professor Andrew Hindmoor (University of Sheffield)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Angela Bourne (Roskilde University)
  • Dr Anika Gauja (University of Sydney)
  • Professor Martin Innes (Cardiff University)
  • Dr Nicole Bolleyer (University of Exeter)
  • Dr Michael Lister (Oxford Brookes University)

This panel examines the adoption, the change and the implementation of legal mechanisms available in long-lived democracies such as the UK to counter the threat of extremist political groups and, more particularly, to respond to terrorist threats and attacks. It looks at the adoption and revision of rights-restrictive legislation and mechanisms such as limitations on basic freedoms and group bans and assesses historically how certain mechanisms have been used over time and how implementation of the same mechanisms has varied within different circumstances. The panel explores the rationales driving politicians to adopt particular counter-terrorism strategies and the nature of the actual repertoire of measures available in democratic regimes and how these repertoires and their application have changed after major terrorist attacks such as 9/11, events commonly regarded as having blurred the distinction between internal and external security threats. More fundamentally, the panel assesses whether and to which extent democracies have shifted their approach to democratic self-defence (which protects civil and political rights by pre-emptively restricting them in case of abuse) and thereby transformed mechanisms for internal democratic preservation into instruments to fight terrorism.