Counter-terrorism, IHL and the right to rebel

In my paper, I discuss the overlap of the legal regimes of anti-terrorism law and international humanitarian law (IHL). Increasingly, IHL gives way to anti-terrorism law, affecting the right to oppose an oppressive regime. Since 9/11 counter-terrorism policies have generated a growing body of legal cooperation regimes, at the international and regional level. Increasingly, domestic courts are vested with broad jurisdictional powers to try terrorist extraterritorially. Branding groups fighting an oppressive regime as terrorist rather than as combatants has shrunk the legal space for political opposition. To illustrate the effect of this pluralist reality where one legal regime cancels out a cardinal principle of the other regime – the right to participate in hostilities – I discuss the prosecution of Tamil tigers in certain European states. There is a risk of democratic States becoming complicit in suppressing the right to rebel.