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The attacks on America spurred a rapid implementation of new Anti-Terrorism legislation around Europe.The declaration of war on terror by George .W. Bush the president U.S.A has imposed restriction to human rights and privacy to individuals in Europe. This can be seen in the policies and legislations which where passed by States in an effort to fight against terrorism. This essay will critically evaluate the implications of war on terror on human rights and privacy across Europe. It will also examine the justification of the powers applied in detention of terrorist’s suspects, trials, and in the creation of a special tribunal court on foreign suspects. The implications of the legislations and law enforcement methods and the immigration policies of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany will be explored.

To understand the war on terror there is a need to define the term “terrorism”. Terrorism is complicated to define as it involves many obstacles and issues and many of the acts are already a crime under the criminal law. Walter Laquer (1987) argued that the term terrorism has been wrongly used in many different senses therefore, it has become meaningless. An example of this would be that violence is used as a measure of its legitimacy, the States may commit terrorism for the preservation of public order, national movements and has a legitimate right to fight or to overthrow on oppressive government (Townshend, 2002, p4). In contrast, the State label violent acts committed by political opponents and national movements as terrorist. Schmid (1984) suggested the detailed definition of terrorism as follows;

It is the method of combat in which random or symbolic victims serve as an instrumental target of violence. These instrumental victims share group or class characteristics which form the basis for their selection for victimization. Through previous use of violence or the credible threat of violence other members of that group or class are put in a state of chronic fear” (Moeckli, 2008, p45). However, it has been suggested that the state would be reluctant to accept this definition because it points out their activities as terrorism.

Anti-terror measures have resulted in crucial difficulties faced by foreign nationals and other minority groups in term of their human rights and privacy policies across Europe. The British government presented a report entitled ‘Liberty and Security: striking the right balance` This report outlined new update measures against terrorism interims of human rights and privacy policy (Moeckli, 2008, p38). The report proposed the right balance between fighting terrorism and a respect to human rights, individual liberty and on the other hand protecting the national security. Daniel Moeckli (2008) proposed issues to evaluate the liberty and security report which he suggested are based on language of balance, questioning their effectiveness regarding the contemporary anti terrorism measures. He criticized the so called liberty and security agenda that it is unequally distributed and discriminatory to minority’s human rights. The idea of balancing liberty is based on the concentration of total amount of freedom to the majority of the population. Whereas security is based on Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism (1863) which states “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” (Jeremy Bentham 1970).

According to Ignatieff (2004) the majorities care less about deprivations of liberty that harm minorities than they do about their own security (Moeckli, 2008, p3). He went on to explain that this idea applies in crisis times such as the aftermath of September the 11th, the bombings in Madrid and bombings in London. The deprivation of liberty can be proved by the use of torture for the interrogation of terrorists suspects.

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In UK, the issues of infringement of human rights in relation to anti-terror began when the House of Lords in December 2004, ruled out that the preventative detention powers of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (ATCSA) 2001 violated the prohibition of discrimination. Dominik Bender (2004) examined the implications of immigration laws to combat terrorism (Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C, Home Office). Daniel Moeckli (2008) investigated the practices of liberal democracies after the September 11 attacks on the U.S.A, which had systematically discriminated the liberty interests of the other groups of people. The aim of his study was to ...

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