The Syrian civil war has highlighted the phenomenon of foreign fighting, in which individuals leave their home State to join an armed conflict overseas. The predominant paradigm for regulating foreign fighting, centred on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178, is based on counterterrorism, which in essence treats foreign fighting as a form of terrorism. This paradigm is largely reflective of the domestic legislation of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia. This article argues that this approach is problematic, and that an alternative paradigm based on the international law of neutrality and related domestic legislation provides a better means for regulating foreign fighting.
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