The legal regime governing transfer of persons in the fight against terrorism
Margaret L. Satterthwaite
Counter-terrorism strategies in a fragmented international legal order : meeting the challenges
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013
Crimes of terrorism are frequently committed by individuals and groups in countries other than those they target. Even when "home-grown" terrorists are responsible for violent acts, they often flee across borders to evade justice. States seeking to punish acts of terrorism therefore regularly need to obtain custody of individuals accused of committing such acts. They may do so by requesting the extradition or deportation of a suspect from a state where the individual is found. States also directly apprehend suspected terrorists in other countries and deliver them to justice before their own or third states' courts through "rendition to justice". Finally, when terrorism occurs in the context of armed conflict, states may move suspects from one state to another through wartime processes such as the transfer of prisoners of war. Because they are carried out in a wide variety of settings, a careful examination of relevant rules of international human rights and humanitarian law is needed. This chapter examines the legal norms governing such transfers and sets out a minimum standard that must be upheld in all settings. This standard is most relevant for informal transfers, since they are almost always accomplished without regard to the full set of protections due to the individual being transferred, therefore this chapter focuses mainly on the minimum rules required when states transfer individuals outside of deportation or extradition proceedings.