skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 70169 Find in a Library
Title: Law and the Lawless - Terrorism - The International Legal Perspective
Journal: TVI Journal  Volume:1  Issue:7  Dated:(1980)  Pages:3-8
Author(s): T Adams
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The article explores the reasons behind the total lack of achievement by the international legal system and the world community in efforts to restrain terrorism.
Abstract: Although the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism has been trying since 1972 to draft an acceptable convention that would limit the spread of terrorism on an international level, it has yet to produce even an acceptable definition of terrorism. Efforts to control terrorism through prosecution of criminal acts are hampered by the political nature of terrorist acts which claim a measure of support from governments and individuals. The recent efforts of some States to establish privileged categories of combatants using the concept of just cause opposes the current humanitarian trend in international law. Any legal approach to controlling terror-violence must distinguish between terrorism which is essentially criminal, and rebellion or revolution, which are recognized remedies under international law. Attempts have been made to bring terrorism under the laws of war, but they do not address the nature of terrorism as deliberate acts of violence against innocent and uninvolved civilians for political gain. Acts of terrorism aim to demonstrate the govenment's lack of ability to protect its citizens, thus reaching those in power who are most protected from personal attack. As long as some States consider terrorism a legitimate expression of political dissent and as long as world order is subordinate to national interests, there can be no effective international control of terrorism. A total of 38 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Antiterrorist laws; International cooperation; International law; International law of war; Political offenders; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Socioeconomic impact of terrorism
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.