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  • Author: Matthew Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This policy brief explores the oft-under examined question of state-perpetrated violence and its treatment within the global preventing and countering violence extremism (PCVE) agenda. While there has been a gradual recognition that human rights, good governance and human security are critical factors in violence prevention, PCVE policy and programming continues to focus on addressing only violence associated with specific radical ideas and is overwhelming centered on individuals and communities of particular identity groups. This agenda often obscures and disregards substantial levels of violence perpetrated by states and other actors. Against the backdrop of growing body of work highlighting the biases, inconsistencies and assumptions of mainstream radicalization theory over the past decade, a paradigm shift is long overdue. To that end, this policy brief highlights the intersections of political violence, violent extremism, and human insecurity through a series of thematic vignettes on corruption, human rights abuses, and war-making. illustrating ways in which state conduct plays a central role in manifesting or escalating political violence from which violent extremism and terrorism emerge. Recognizing the scale and magnitude of state-perpetrated violence and its role in manifesting further violence is essential for charting a new course toward a more holistic response to violent extremism that adequately accounts for and responds to a wider spectrum of political violence, including the violence perpetrated by states.
  • Topic: Corruption, Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice, State Violence, Impunity
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Libya, Yemen, United Nations, Syria, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Eelco Kessels, Melissa Lefas, Junko Nozawa, Tinka M. Veldhuis, Eva Entenmann, Liesbeth van der Heide
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Children have always been among the most vulnerable victims of violence and, at times, some of its brutal purveyors. They have played various roles in furthering violent extremism and participating in acts of violence, ranging from inciting propaganda online to carrying out deadly attacks. Rather than exceptionalizing these children, their treatment under the criminal justice system should be grounded in juvenile justice standards. To advance the work of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), the government of Australia commissioned the Global Center and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague (ICCT) to prepare a report and accompanying policy brief putting forward guiding principles, recommendations, and considerations for the detention, rehabilitation, and reintegration of juveniles convicted of terrorism and violent extremism offenses. Together, they advance a juvenile justice approach for authorities responsible for the care of juvenile violent extremist offenders and support the notion that national security interests and juvenile justice imperatives are compatible and mutually reinforcing in preventing and countering violent extremism. Responding to a call from the GCTF Neuchâtel Memorandum on Good Practices for Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context to collect and collate information on children engaged in terrorism-related activity, the report takes stock of theory, policies, and practice globally. The recommendations draw from international juvenile justice standards, the emerging body of principles and practices in the detention of adult violent extremist offenders, and the national experiences in demobilizing and reintegrating child combatants and members of organized criminal groups. The report elaborates on the policy brief that was formally adopted by the GCTF in December 2016. The policy brief was adapted for publication in EuroVista’s Probation and Community Justice Journal, available at
  • Topic: Prisons/Penal Systems, Children, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Radicalization, Islamic State, Youth, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, Middle East, Somalia, Mali, Global Focus, The Hague
  • Author: Melissa Lefas, Junko Nozawa
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Supreme court justices play an important role in strengthening state capacities to bring terrorists to justice within the framework of human rights and the rule of law. As final arbiters, justices seated at the highest courts of law are the nation’s safeguards of the rule of law and human rights, especially when the executive and legislative branches favor national security over these individual rights. The report synthesizes the discussions held with supreme court justices over the course of an 18-month program in the Euro-Med region (Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa), implemented in partnership with UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and funded by the European Commission. The program aimed to create a sustainable, nonpolitical forum for supreme court-level and senior judicial officials to discuss, among equals, questions of law arising from terrorism-related cases and to share strategies, frameworks, and good practices for handling these cases over the course of five consultations. The final component of the program brought the First Presidents of the Cassation Courts of Lebanon and Tunisia, as well as other supreme court justices, to discuss their views on how the international community should respond to the threat of terrorism in an open briefing before CTED at the UN headquarters, held in March 2016. The report is organized around priority issue areas raised by the justices over the course of the program and includes case studies, best practices, and legal commentary on possible resolutions to the common challenges they face in the adjudication of terrorism cases. It further describes a series of international and regional initiatives to support the judiciary, reflecting on the value of interjudicial exchanges in this domain. // Les juges des Cours suprêmes jouent un rôle important dans le renforcement des capacités des états à traduire en justice les terroristes, le tout dans le respect des droits de l’homme et de l’État de droit. En tant qu’arbitres finaux, les magistrats qui siègent dans les Cours suprêmes sont souvent la dernière ligne de défense de l’État de droit et des droits de l’homme, surtout lorsque les branches exécutives et législatives du gouvernement favorisent la sécurité nationale au détriment des droits individuels. Ce rapport offre une synthèse des discussions tenues par les hauts responsables judiciaires ayant participé dans un programme de 18 mois dans la région Euro-Med (soit l’Europe, le Moyen-Orient, et l’Afrique du Nord), en partenariat avec les experts de la Direction exécutive du Comité contre le terrorisme des Nations Unies (DECT). Ce programme, qui profite du financement de la Commission européenne, a pour objectif de créer un forum durable et apolitique pour les responsables judiciaires des Cours suprêmes et des instances supérieures, afin de débattre des questions juridiques se rapportant aux affaires liées au terrorisme et de partager les stratégies, les méthodes de travail et les bonnes pratiques relatives à la gestion de ces affaires. La dernière composante du programme a réuni les Premiers présidents des Cours de cassation du Liban et de la Tunisie, ainsi que d’autres juges des cours suprêmes, à discuter sur la manière dont la communauté internationale devrait répondre à la menace du terrorisme lors d'une réunion publique d'information pour la DECT au le siège de l'ONU, tenu en mars 2016. Le présent rapport est structuré autour des questions prioritaires soulevées par les juges au cours du programme, dont celles se rapportant aux meilleures pratiques, aux défis, aux stratégies et aux études de cas que les juges ont trouvé intéressantes ou dignes d’être discutées et partagées à large échelle. Il contextualise les réponses législatives au terrorisme dans les juridictions représentées et commente sur les solutions potentielles aux défis communs, lesquelles se basent sur les normes juridiques et la jurisprudence existantes au niveau régional et international.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Counter-terrorism, Courts, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Lebanon, Tunisia, Mediterranean