Two principal legal paradigms purport to regulate the international fight against terror: The law enforcement and the armed conflict paradigms. Arguably, many disagreements concerning the lawfulness of specific counter-terrorism, such as targeted killings or detention without trial, are actually disagreements on the applicable legal framework and the stories on the nature of the threat of terrorism that is being offered. There is also an emergence of a mixed paradigm which borrows contents from both human rights law and humanitarian law. Such normative cross-over illustrates the difficulty of maintaining rigid paradigmatic distinctions in light of the complexities of the fight against terror; but some key differences in emphasis between the two paradigms nonetheless remain. Most significantly, the development of a new mixed paradigm merely re-contextualizes preexisting jurisdictional struggles over the proper legal framework to govern the fight against terror.
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