The Changing Scope of Human Rights in the Context of Counter-Terrorism in Singapore: A comparative Perspective

The Changing Scope of Human Rights in the Context of Counter-Terrorism in Singapore: A comparative Perspective

By Sarah Shi + and Ronald Wong

Terrorism, the watchword of the past decade, is arguably here to stay, with the precarious equilibrium further endangered by the increasing availability of nuclear capabilities. Inevitably, many states have responded to the problem with heightened counter-terrorism measures, which invariably impinge on human rights, leading to observations that the scope of protection afforded to human rights in the "age of terror" is increasingly shrinking. The intersection of national security and human rights has long been one of the most troubling areas of law, the key underlying tension being that between individual liberty and collective security. The state's struggle against terrorism must be conducted inside the law. The rules to be complied with are based on balancing; they are not "all or nothing" -- in this balancing, human rights cannot receive their full protection as if there was no terrorism, likewise state security cannot receive its full protection as if there were no human rights.

Most states have implemented a counter-terrorism framework, and such frameworks must be constantly reworked to meet or pre-empt new threats. This article explores how Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom have implemented counter-terrorism measures. The focus of the article is on Singapore, with the latter two jurisdictions being chosen for a comparative analysis, since they are often perceived as the most vocal advocates of human rights. The Singapore government has been said to eschew 'rights' discourse in favour of a 'responsibilities' discourse.

Purchase the article, The Changing Scope of Human Rights in the Context of Counter-Terrorism in Singapore: A comparative Perspective, 2 Jindal Global L. Rev. 157.

Lexis.com subscribers can access The Changing Scope of Human Rights in the Context of Counter-Terrorism in Singapore: A comparative Perspective, 2 Jindal Global L. Rev. 157, and these following resources:

Barbarians at the Gates: A Post-September 11th Proposal to Rationalize the Laws of War, 73 Miss. L.J. 639.

If the Hat Fits, Wear It, If the Turban Fits, Run for your Life: Reflections on the Indefinite Detention and Targeted Killing of Suspected Terrorists, 56 Hastings L.J. 801.

Terrorism, Globalization and the Rule of Law: Judicial Balancing in Times of Stress: Comparing the American, British, and Israeli Approaches to the War on Terror, 27 Cardozo L. Rev. 2079.

Democratic Responses to Terrorism: A Comparative Study of the United States, Israel, and India, 33 Denv. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 285.

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