UN rights expert says Security Council’s counter-terrorism measures lack legal basis

October 29, 2010

26 October 2010 – An independent United Nations human rights expert said today that the regime created by the Security Council to counter terrorism is outside the scope of its powers, and called on the 15-member body to systematize its counter-terrorism measures and reporting duties of States under one framework rather than several resolutions.

Martin Scheinin, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, said that obligations in countering terrorism imposed on Member States by Security Council resolution 1373, adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, “amount to a quasi-legislative measure that is unlimited in time and space.”

In his yearly report, which he presented to the General Assembly yesterday, Mr. Scheinin stated that whatever justification the Council may have had in September 2001 for adopting the resolution, “its continued application nine years later cannot be seen as a proper response to a specific threat to international peace and security.

The UN press release is available here.

Related document: Report: Leading Jurists Call for Urgent Steps to Restore Human Rights in efforts to counter terrorism

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