Is terrorism a crime under customary international law? : Issues on the definition of international terrorism raised by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

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So far, there is no generally agreed-upon definition of terrorism in the international community. Against this background, in an interlocutory decision issued on 16 February 2011, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon held that terrorism has evolved into a crime under international customary law. This Appeals Chamber’s decision has been harshly criticised from an academic point of view, but several important issues have been raised in this decision, including issues concerning a transnational element and an element of political motives in the definition of international terrorism. In this sense, this interlocutory decision may be regarded as providing an important opportunity for academic analysis and discussion of the definition of international terrorism.

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