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International and Foreign

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité … Sécurité

Within a few hours of the terrorist attacks on Paris which left 130 dead and some 350 injured, President François Hollande declared a nationwide state of emergency in accordance with Public Law 55-385. As we noted previously, this declaration marked only the second time that a nationwide state of emergency was declared in France since the end of World War II.…   continue »

The UK Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (aka, the Revised “Snooper’s Charter”)

Earlier this month the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, the UK Government’s attempt to legitimize State surveillance powers, was presented to Parliament. Depending on your perspective, it is either a necessary security measure or a revised “Snooper’s Charter” (revised since it purports to build on the recommendations of three independent reviews by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism, and the Royal United Services Institute).…   continue »

From Paris to Africa

In the wake of the worldwide reaction to the Paris attacks — which included statements by world leaders, extensive media coverage, public gatherings, monuments lit in the colors of the French flag, and a torrent of expressions of sympathy on social media — a number of commentators pointed out that no such outpourings followed similar terrorist attacks in Beirut, Ankara, or Nigeria in the days before and after Paris.…   continue »

Cross-Border Data Requests: A Proposed Framework

Editor’s note: This post also appears on Lawfare.

We’ve both written and spoken extensively (for example, here, here, here, here, and here) about issues related to cross-border data requests. At this point, it seems that the contours of the problem are well established, and our goal here is to try and flesh out a principled framework for moving forward.…   continue »

Connecting Past and Present: Assessing French Emergency Powers in Historical Perspective

Editor’s note: Some parts of this post first appeared in the book Law in Times of Crisis.

Reflecting on the horrific events of Friday, November 13, in Paris and the French governmental turn to emergency powers, it bears reminding that the resort to a state of emergency in a situation of crisis is not new.…   continue »

The Course of Least Resistance: Ignoring the Lessons of History in Responding to ISIS

This post is the latest installment of our “Monday Reflections” feature, in which a different Just Security editor examines the big stories from the previous week or looks ahead to key developments on the horizon.

If the goal of the Islamic State terrorists who launched a brutal and cold-blooded attack on hundreds of innocent civilians in Paris was to spread fear and induce overreaction, they have plainly succeeded.…   continue »

Where Will the Law of Self-Defense Go From Here?

Friday’s horrific attacks in Paris have now prompted retaliatory French airstrikes on Raqqa in Syria. Given the emotions that have been stirred up, it may seem unnecessary to inquire as to the legal justification for the airstrikes. But even though precise legal argumentation may not be at the forefront of French priorities in a time of crisis, this is actually a crucial juncture in the evolution of the law of self-defense, with consequences far beyond this moment or this conflict.…   continue »

France Maps out Its War Against the Islamic State

Editor’s note: This post also appears on the European Council on Foreign Relations website.

France’s President François Hollande used a powerful and resonant piece of rhetoric in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. “France is at war,” he declared, adding that it had been the victim of aggression committed by a “jihadist army.” In appealing for European solidarity, France invoked not Article 222 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty dealing with terrorist incidents, but Article 42 (7) relating to acts of aggression.…   continue »