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Human Rights and Non-discrimination in the 'War on Terror'$
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Daniel Moeckli

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239801.001.0001

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Executive Detention of Foreign Terrorist Suspects

Executive Detention of Foreign Terrorist Suspects

Chapter:
(p.99) 4 Executive Detention of Foreign Terrorist Suspects
Source:
Human Rights and Non-discrimination in the 'War on Terror'
Author(s):

Moeckli Daniel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239801.003.0004

Some of the post-September 11 laws include preventive detention powers that are only applicable to foreign terrorist suspects. This chapter examines the objective of these detention powers and assesses whether, in view of this objective, differential treatment based on citizenship status is justified. It argues that where the aim of detention is not enforcement of immigration laws but protection of national security, differential treatment on the ground of citizenship can only be justified if there is a difference in terms of dangerousness between citizens and foreign nationals. However, in the context of the current ‘war on terror’ such a difference does not exist: the terrorist threat does not stem exclusively, or even predominantly, from foreign nationals. In addition, preventive detention powers that are reserved for foreign citizens contribute to the alienation of exactly those communities whose cooperation with the police would be crucial in anti-terrorist investigations.

Keywords:   preventive detention, right to liberty, foreign nationals, Belmarsh

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