DOI: 10.5176/2251-2403_PSSIR16.37

Authors: Dr. Francis Jegede, Dr. Francis Jegede


This paper examines the existing legal framework for fighting violent extremism and terrorism. Highlighting the inherent limitations of the current International Law of War in dealing with the growing challenges posed by terrorists and violent extremist groups, the paper discusses the problem facing military commanders, security agents, state actors and the international community in confronting extremist groups while upholding human rights values and respecting the law of war. The paper poses the question as to whether the current legal framework for dealing with extremist groups is sufficient without contravening the essential provisions and ethos of the International Law of War and Human Rights.  Using examples, the paper examines how extremist groups flagrantly disregard the rule of law and disrespect human rights in their campaign of terror. The paper also notes instances in which the current Western strategy in fighting terrorism may be viewed or considered as conflicting with human rights and international law.

Keywords: Law of war, non-conventional wars, international law, human rights law, violence, extremism, non-state groups/actors,  terrorism, security agent

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