The legal regime governing transfer of persons in the fight against terrorism

Margaret L. Satterthwaite

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Introduction: Crimes of terrorism are frequently committed by individuals and groups in countries other than those they target. Even when ‘home-grown’ terrorists are responsible for violent acts, they often flee across borders to evade justice. States seeking to punish acts of terrorism therefore regularly need to obtain custody of individuals accused of committing such acts. They may do so by requesting the extradition or deportation of a suspect from a state where the individual is found. States also directly apprehend suspected terrorists in other countries and deliver them to justice before their own or third states’ courts through ‘rendition to justice’. Finally, when terrorism occurs in the context of armed conflict, states may move suspects from one state to another through wartime processes such as the transfer of prisoners of war. In short, states use both formal and informal processes when transferring individuals suspected of terrorist crimes. The practice of rendition - the involuntary transfer of an individual across borders without recourse to extradition or deportation proceedings - is not new. Indeed, the practice has been used by governments for more than a century. Famous renditions include that of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from Argentina to Israel, and terrorist Carlos ‘the Jackal’ (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) from Sudan to France. Although such renditions have been controversial in human rights circles, they have been celebrated by many as crucial in the fight against impunity for grave crimes and are sometimes called ‘rendition to justice’.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationCounter-Terrorism Strategies in a Fragmented International Legal Order
    Subtitle of host publicationMeeting the Challenges
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages50
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139178907
    ISBN (Print)9781107025387
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


    Dive into the research topics of 'The legal regime governing transfer of persons in the fight against terrorism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this