Response to Terrorism - The Use of Force Against International Terrorism


  • Arsalan H. Almizory College of Law and Politics, Department of Law, Nawroz University, Duhok, Kurdistan-Iraq



Terrorism, International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights law, Geneva Conventions, The use of force in International Relations


The events of 11 September 2011 overwhelmingly challenged the existing principles of international law, both as the principles of international humanitarian law and as the right of state to use military force. This article assesses the uncertainty about the definition of terrorism, and how international law can provide legal framework by which to state responses to acts of terrorism, whether the acts are committed by organizations or by non-state actors. It scrutinizes the difficulties of applying the rules of international humanitarian law in selecting military objectives when directing attacks against terrorists and in classifying captured fighters. Eventually, it considers whether the right of self-defense extends to military responses to terrorists acts, since most such responses violate the territorial integrity of a state that is not itself directly responsible.


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Journal Articles
Cassese, A. (2001). Terrorism is Also Disrupting some Crucial Legal Categories of International Law. European Journal of International Law 993.
Byers, M. (2002). Terrorism, the Use of Force and International Law after September 11. International and Comparative Law Quarterly 401.
Christian, J. (2009). The Use of Force Against Terrorists. 20 The European Journal of International Law 2.
Greenwood, Ch. (2003). International Law and the Pre-Emptive Use of Force: Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, and Iraq. 4 San Diego International Law Journal 7.
Gaby, R. (2017). Legitimate Military Targets, Crimes of War (2011). Retrieved from
Rowe, P. (2002). Response to Terror, The New War. 3 Melbourne Law Journal 301.
Conventions and UN Documents
UN Charter 19 Available at accessed 10 March 2017
Geneva Convention (I) For the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, (International Committee of the Red Cross, 1952) Retrieved from
Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1949) Retrieved from
Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 Retrieved from
Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, Which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects as Amended on 21 December 2001, Retrievedfrom$file/CCW+text.pdf
Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property, Article 1(f) International Committee of the Red Cross, Retrieved from
Security Council Resolution/RES/ 2170 (2014), Retrieved from
Security Council Resolution/RES/1368 (2001), Retrieved from
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Books and Chapters in Edited Books
Bing, J. (2006). Definition Terrorism in International Law. Oxford University Press.
Christian, W. (2003). Defining Terrorism in National and International Law. Heidelberg, Springer.
Dinah, P. (2002). Terrorism and Human Rights: The Legal Framework. In Terrorism and International Law: Challenges and Responses (Eds). International Institute of Humanitarian Law.
Ipsen, K. (2013). Combatants and Non-combatants. In D. Fleck (Eds). The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law. 3rd edn, Oxford University Press.
Kleffner, J. K. (2013). Scope of Application of International Humanitarian Law. In D. Fleck (Eds). The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law. 3rd edn, Oxford University Press.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Prosecutor v. Tadić, Judgment (Trial Chamber) (IT-94-1-T), 7 May 1999, 562
Nicaragua Case (1986) ICJ Reports 14 at 103
Contributions to collected works: Reports and Generic
American Bar Association Task Force on Terrorism and the Law Report and Recommendations on Military Commissions. (2002). Retrieved from
Foreign Fighter under International Law. (2014). Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, NO7.
UK, Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons. (8 October 2001). vol 372, 835. Geoof Hoon, Secretary of State for Defense. Retrieved from
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). (2011). International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts. Report for the 31st Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.



How to Cite

Almizory, A. H. (2017). Response to Terrorism - The Use of Force Against International Terrorism. Academic Journal of Nawroz University, 6(3), 51–58.