Policy Reports Neumann has led research projects and written influential policy reports about the crime-terror nexus, online radicalization, foreign fighter networks, terrorist defectors, prison-based de-radicalization programs, and terrorist recruitment in Europe. Available here. September Available here Spanish original and here English translation. It is in this context that we have to examine the issue of possible vagueness and overbreadth. I will first deal with the claim that the definitions of terrorism as found in international legal instruments may be too vague for the purposes of criminal law and criminal procedure.
The EU Framework Decision, it may be recalled, aims at creating a unitary punishment level for terrorist offences 63 and at ensuring that Member States exercise jurisdiction over these offences when they have been committed on their territory or by their nationals or residents.
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While this terminology indicates the general direction in which the authors of the Framework Decision were thinking, it does not easily lend itself to practical application. Other definitions are even less controversial under vagueness aspects. Any person commits an offence within the meaning of the present Convention if that person, by any means, unlawfully and intentionally, causes:. Any person also commits an offence if that person makes a credible and serious threat to commit an offence as set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article.
To the average reader, the formulation of Article 2 of the Draft Comprehensive Convention makes it quite apparent what types of conduct are to be punished as terrorist offences. In sum, then, vagueness is not a serious problem of recent definitions of terrorism. A related but different criticism of international instruments in the combat against terrorism concerns their overbreadth.
It is, thus, necessary to examine whether the definitions used in international instruments succeed in concentrating the efforts of the international community on the most dangerous assaults on the interior functioning of states and their peaceful mutual relations. The label of terrorism should not be used for petty crimes — not only would application of the legal armoury to such cases be out of proportion with their importance, but also would the overuse of the terrorism label lead to an inflation of the strong reprobation reserved for terrorism, thus weakening its moral force and social utility.
Definitions should, therefore, be narrow enough to avoid an over-expansion of the concept of terrorism. It is certainly unexceptionable to treat as a terrorist an individual who, with the requisite intent, kills or seriously injures another person. Definitional overkill may well be balanced by prosecutorial discretion — but any definition that must rely on being reduced to reasonable proportions through teleological reduction smells of overbreadth and should be reconsidered.
The law should not be termed in a way that it requires prosecutors and courts to cut it back to appropriate dimensions. Similar problems of overbreadth are posed by the definition of terrorism in Article 1 1 of the EU Framework Decision on Terrorism. As has been mentioned, this clause, if applied literally, would not only cure any problem of overbreadth but would indeed reduce applicability of the Framework Decision to very few instances of truly disastrous terrorism.
The problem of overbreadth has to some extent been avoided by the Financing of Terrorism Convention. The problem of overbreadth is compounded by the fact that almost all international and national instruments treat as punishable not only the completion of terrorist attacks but also various activities in preparation of such attacks. The existence of so wide a net to catch potential terrorists early may be useful — but it provides an additional argument in favour of moderation in defining the criminal acts that can trigger the labelling of the actor as a terrorist.
Mens rea requirements beyond simple intent with respect to one's actions and their consequences are not usually very helpful in narrowing down the scope of criminality. The actor's evil intentions will be easily inferred from the proven fact that he has intentionally done serious harm. It is a sad fact that terrorism will not soon go away. This does not mean that the efforts of criminal justice in this area are totally futile; if they cannot prevent terroristic acts they may at least contribute to a fair adjudication of offenders and to their punishment in accordance with the severity of their offences.
As we have seen, the efforts of the international community to bring together and harmonize its activities do not so much aim at creating a new crime of terrorism but at enlarging the possibilities of investigating terrorist activities even in their early stages and at facilitating international cooperation.
The quest for a definition of terrorism must be seen in this context. Precision in describing the multi-faceted phenomenon of terrorism certainly remains a goal, but the standards to be applied to formulations in international instruments may be somewhat less rigorous here than those applied to ab ovo incriminations of conduct.
A greater problem is the potential overuse of the label of terrorism. In order to avoid disproportional intrusions into protected areas of individual privacy as well as a devaluation of terrorism through an inflationary use of this term, it is better to err on the side of moderation. In employing the criminal law in the war against terrorism, we should not lose sight of the fact that this war cannot be won on the field of criminal justice but only through dealing, in a responsible manner and on a global scale, with the root causes of terrorism.
These violations shall include, but shall not be limited to:. Any person commits an offence within the meaning of this Convention if that person by any means, directly or indirectly, unlawfully and wilfully, provides or collects funds with the intention that they should be used or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in full or in part, in order to carry out: a An act which constitutes an offence within the scope of and as defined in one of the treaties listed in the annex; or b Any other act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.
Any person commits an offence within the meaning of this Convention if that person unlawfully and intentionally:. Condemns in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed, as one of the most serious threats to peace and security; 2.
Calls upon States to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism, especially with those States where or against whose citizens terrorist acts are committed, in accordance with their obligations under international law, in order to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice, on the basis of the principle to extradite or prosecute, any person who supports, facilitates, participates or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts or provides safe havens; 3.
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Volume 4. Article Contents. Terrorism as an International Concern. Individual Terrorism and State-Organized Terrorism. The Problem of Defining Terrorism. The Problem of Overreach. The author wishes to thank Ms Swetlana Niekisch for her research support.
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Islam in Germany
Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract Steps have been taken on the international level towards determining a widely acceptable definition of terrorism as a basis for international conventions. See in this issue the country reports on Germany C. Safferling , the UK C.
Prof. Peter Neumann - ICSR
Walker and the US N. See e. And even Central Europe for which Karl Lamers and I have a kind of copyright has always been in our eyes a motor for the unification of Europe and not just an element of separation. Schroeder has now lost this balance. He has created a position in which Germany is isolated and there is now a marginalisation of options open to the Germans. He is now dependant on France to such an extent that French policy may tend towards arrogance. As a matter of fact many are of the opinion that in the medium run current French policy would enable France to show — less so the USA — than Germany, its political limitations.
Some of the highlights of recent weeks like the conflict resolution in the Ivory Coast, the French-African summit and the State visit to Algeria show clearly how differently France views its international responsibilities — and in which context the new good-pal friendship between Chirac and Schroeder is viewed on the other side of the Rhine. A Europe which has ambitions of fulfilling its responsibilities in the 21st century and of taking care of its own interests will have to have larger political, economic and above all military capabilities.
Those who propagate multilateral structures must also be able to offer adequate contributions. If today, Europe marginalises itself because of ever increasing differences in political and military capabilities, there is little purpose in criticising the American partner. All depends on the larger capabilities of the Europeans themselves. As we see it, it would also require a sustainable increase in the defence budget. There is a special need to gradually close the technology gap and update our capabilities by investing in research and logistics.
No European country can do this alone on a large scale, cooperation and sharing of the tasks is therefore essential within Europe. This however demands trust and reliability. In view of the embarassing fights in the NATO Council in the matter of preparing possible aid measures for Turkey this situation is doubly poisonous. The Bundeswehr must be able to take on international responsibilities.
It is essential to understand that security and security threats are an inseparable part of the present international situation. A realistic analysis of the security threat and an impartial search for answers are prerequisites for an assessment of responsibility in foreign policy. We Europeans must concern ourselves with the questions which have arisen out of the new American strategy against security threats, even if we do not necessarily have the answers yet. This is a necessary condition for a Trans-Atlantic partnership as well as for strengthening multilateral structures.
Today security is not guaranteed as it was in the period of the Cold War by a fear of certain mutual destruction. Concepts of territorial integrity, national sovereignty, and the prohibition of external intervention will become problematic when the world will have to deal with states which are falling apart and which become threats to international security. This is the problem in Afghanistan and of Al Quaida, but it is also a problem when we consider Somalia for example.
The right to self-defence — including emergency help and the prohibition of external intervention are concepts which will not fulfil the needs of the world today. For the purpose of securing peace these concepts will have to be carefully developed. In situations where the concept of sovereignty is losing force due to the collapse of public order, the legitimacy of regulated processes of decisions of International law become more important.
And it is especially because of this need that the United Nations have to be strengthened. It also means that the process of giving legal importance to international relations must be promoted intensively. That is the reason why we must not allow the UN to be weakened by disunity and the building of various axes. This is possible by cooperating with the USA and not by being against it. International order is necessary for stability and for securing peace but these can only be guaranteed if the execution is guaranteed.
Though military force may be necessary for this, it alone will not suffice. That is why concepts and efforts for prevention and resolution of political conflicts are important. Equally important are sustainable development, international dialogue, freedom of intercultural and inter-religious exchange with inherent guarantees for free exercise of identity, tolerance and fundamental human rights.
This must be valid for poor regions even as it should be valid for international heavyweights like China and Russia. European unity and the Trans-Atlantic partnership must be a partnership in leadership which is committed to development and international stability. In these efforts American capability and European expertise and experience can complement each other. Now that everything has gone so wrong in the Iraq crisis we should make all possible efforts to cooperate in the Trans-Atlantic partnership to combat international terror.
We have to cooperate in the matter of North Korea and we have to make all efforts to stabilise the Near and Middle East as well as to work to defuse the Kashmir conflict. The special historical experience of Germany has forces on us the burden of personal responsibility for the right to live of Israel and for a peaceful solution of the Palestine problem. This should help us to maintain our good relations with the Arab world. The relations with the Arab world are of special importance for control and reduction of present tensions. The long tradition of good relations with Turkey and the Arab world and the fact that Europe has become home to a growing number of Muslims gives us a special reason for respecting the different development of cultures.
Methods of Equity Financing (Eigenkapitalfinanzierung)
We have the chance to combine the necessity of enlightening and modernising and at the same time of practising tolerance. Through the centuries Europe has gained experience at a great cost. We have gone through mistakes and we have had our victims. We have learnt to distinguish between worldly power and the power of the church. At the same time we have been able to develop a system of justice which is tolerant and takes into consideration the need for free exercise of religious convictions.
These experiences have to be made available for the 21st century. Sustainable development cannot blind us to the fact that the resources of the earth are limited. We have therefore to develop a global concept of ecology which we would support. This would help us to prevent individual countries from following their own energy policies and would at the same time take into consideration the increasing energy needs of less developed nations.
This would include a policy which would guarantee world-wide access to energy sources and prevent the formation of energy monopolies that may desire to destabilise the status quo. Globalisation means the opening up of markets and the chance of fair competition for less developed countries. If destabilisation caused by mass migrations and immigration is to be avoided, the process of more intensive world-wide distribution of labour has to be practised in a manner which respects the different developments of societies and cultural identities.
To achieve all this the requirement is to win back our economic dynamism and competitiveness. We have to deregulate our labour market, abandon structures of bureaucracy which are stifling and introduce reform in the welfare system which would strengthen social security. We will have to take into consideration the changing demographic patterns, concentrate on education and research so that we can once again be among the leaders in knowledge and research. We need to promote foreign trade very actively. This has been neglected under the present government.
All this is connected to our potential capabilities in foreign policy. If we are not economically competitive our influence on the international political scene will be marginal.