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Handbook on Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism

image of Handbook on Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism
Terrorism is a complex and ever-changing phenomenon. The handbook aims to provide law enforcement and criminal justice officials with an accessible guide to assist them in dealing with some of the key issues that they face in their efforts to respond to terrorist and related crimes. The publication will also be of use to policymakers and political leaders in the shaping of new or enhanced counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices. It reviews the many challenges encountered by the various components of the criminal justice system in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and detention of alleged or convicted perpetrators of terrorist crimes. It offers guidance based on international standards and generally accepted good practices.

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Introduction and legal context

An effective and prevention-focused response to terrorism should include a strong criminal justice element: one that is guided by a normative legal framework and embedded in the core principles of the rule of law, due process and respect for human rights. Perpetrators of terrorist acts as defi ned in the universal legal instruments against terrorism are criminals, and they should therefore be dealt with by the criminal justice process as it is the most appro priate and fair mechanism to ensure that justice is achieved and that the rights of the accused are protected. In addition to this core function, criminal justice approaches to terrorism also provide for effective prevention mechanisms, including interventions that target the funding of terrorists and terrorist organizations and allow for the interception of conspiracies to commit attacks and the prohibition of incitement to terrorism.

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