German Perspectives on the Right to Life and Human Dignity in the 'War on Terror'

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Title German Perspectives on the Right to Life and Human Dignity in the 'War on Terror'
Author Hufnagel, Saskia
Journal Name Criminal Law Journal
Year Published 2008
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Lawbook Co.
Abstract The purpose of this article is to examine, from a comparative perspective, how security concerns have limited three distinct human rights in Germany and Australia: the right to a fair trial, the right to life and the right to human dignity. Since human rights are rarely absolute, the war on terror has required legislatures and courts to determine the reasonable limits and qualifications to these rights. The German approach diverges from Australia in relation to the paramount constitutional status of the right to human dignity. Consequently, this German hierarchy of rights produces different outcomes in relation to the range and scope of permissible counter-terrorism measures. This is apparent in the ruling of the German Constitutional Court which declared void legislative powers authorizing the use of lethal force against hijacked aircraft. Similar powers inserted into the Defence Act 1903 (Cth) would not be amenable to similar challenge on grounds that they violate the right to human dignity. Notwithstanding these legal differences, the German authorities have sought to overcome these constitutional inhibitions by resort to untested doctrines such as the suprastatutory state of emergency, suggesting the difference between the two systems is not as marked as it first appears.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2008 Walter de Gruyter & Co. KG Publishers. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published
Volume 32
Issue Number 100
Page from 100
Page to 113
ISSN 0314-1160
Date Accessioned 2011-03-29
Language en_AU
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Comparative Law
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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