Institute for Advanced Study Presents

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin: “Protecting Human Rights in the Age of Counterterrorism”

IAS Thursdays
Apr 2019
About the Event

For the past two decades countering terrorism has been at the forefront of the foreign policy priorities of democracies. This has coincided with the growth of human rights narratives as a fundamental feature of such democracies. However, a number of counterterrorism measures, such as the use of unlawful detention at Guantanamo Bay, confirmation of “black sites” being used for interrogation and extended state surveillance powers, have raised serious human rights concerns. How do states ensure strong national security while protecting the fundamental human rights they claim as the bedrock of their society? How do states balance regulation of terrorism, when the damage that can be done to political and legal systems by terrorism itself, as well as by counter-terrorism measures which violate basic human rights norms, is exceptional? Professor Ní Aoláin, Regents Professor & Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society, UMN; Faculty Director, Human Rights Center; Co-founder and Associate Director, Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, will address four myths that have dominated the post-9/11 terrorism and human rights landscape, demonstrating that security need not be sacrificed for human rights (and vice versa), and that the relationship between rights and security is not necessarily one of tension but rather one of mutual capacity-building and necessity.