Over the past two decades, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, a number of countries have enacted new laws tailored specifically to the threat posed by Islamic extremist terrorism. This includes recent legislation that has criminalised behaviour associated with ‘foreign terrorist fighters’, such as the act of travel to, or fighting in, foreign conflicts. This legislative response reflects the enactment of earlier laws, with measures designed for prior iterations of the contemporary Islamic extremist terrorist threat, such as control orders and preventative detention orders, prohibitions on extremist speech and disseminating terrorist propganda and the criminalisation of terrorist training. Yet despite the focus on Islamic extremist terrorism, this is not the only terrorist threat that Western democracies face. The rise of far-right terrorism in recent years has, however, not seen the same recourse to new legislation as has been the case for Islamic extremist terrorism. Using Australia and the United Kingdom as case studies, this article assesses the extent to which counterterrorism legislation has been used to deal with the particular threat posed by far-right terrorism. In doing so, it evaluates the lessons that might be learned from applying counterterrorism legislation designed for one particular terrorist threat to other types of terrorism.
Blackbourn, J. (2021). Counterterrorism Legislation and Far-Right Terrorism in Australia and the United Kingdom. Common Law World Review, 50(1), 76-92. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473779521989332