Incitement to Terrorism


Incitement to terrorism connects the dots between evil words and evil deeds. Hate precedes terror. History has already taught us that incitement to genocide and to crimes against humanity unchecked will inevitably bring devastation to humankind. Incitement is an affront to the dignity of its victims, and poses a dire threat to all people of good will. However, combating incitement to terrorism poses operational, constitutional and human rights challenges on many fronts, both domestically and internationally. What is incitement? Where should the line be drawn between protected speech and incitement that should be criminalized? Does war change the calculus of what are appropriate and lawful measures to contain and respond to such incitement? And, how does social media and the nature of communication and engagement in our virtual world change or complicate how we think about, and can respond to, incitement?

This compilation offers expert analysis on incitement to terrorism across these challenging issues and questions. The contributors bring expertise from a range of countries and operational experiences, providing an illuminating and thought-provoking examination of domestic and international law, comparative approaches, and emerging trends with respect to incitement to terrorism.
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Biographical Note

Anne F. Bayefsky is a Professor and Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and President of Human Rights Voices. A member of the International Law Association’s Committee on Human Rights in Times of Emergency, she has taught at York University, the University of Ottawa Law Faculty, and Columbia University Law School. She has served on both governmental and non-governmental delegations to UN bodies and conferences around the world for over three decades, as well as having been on advisory committees to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Development Programme. She is the author or editor of 11 books in the areas of international and constitutional human rights law, and the recipient of Canada’s highest human rights research award, the Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research.

Laurie R. Blank is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law, where she teaches the law of armed conflict and works with students to provide assistance to international tribunals, non-governmental organizations and militaries around the world on cutting edge issues in humanitarian law and human rights. She is the co-author of International Law and Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles and Contemporary Challenges in the Law of War (Aspen Publishing 2013; Concise Edition 2016), and the author of numerous articles on the law of armed conflict. She is the Chair of the American Society of International Law Lieber Prize Committee and a core expert on the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space. Before coming to Emory, she was a program officer in the Rule of Law Program at the United States Institute of Peace.

Table of contents

List of Contributors

Part 1: Foundational Issues

Freedom of Expression, Hate Speech, and Incitement to Terrorism and Genocide: Resonances and Tensions
Gregory S. Gordon
Public International Law and Cyber Incitements to Violence
Sean Watts
Incitement to Terror and Freedom of Speech
Micah Lakin Avni

Part 2: Comparative Perspectives

Wrestling with Freedom of Expression and the Spread of Extremism: A uk Perspective
Ronald Thwaites
French Law and eu Rules in the Fight against Incitement to Terrorism or Violent Extremism
Sylvie Schlanger
Canadian Legal Perspectives on Incitement to Terrorism
Containing the Proliferation of Incitement: A Canadian Perspective
Christian Leuprecht
Incitement and Related Matters in Israeli Law
Fighting Incitement: The Work and Practice of the Israeli Prosecution 2014–2016
Erez Padan
The un and Incitement
Anne Bayefsky

Part 3: Incitement, Terrorism and War

Targeting Speech in War
Rachel VanLandingham
Criminal and Military Incitement Response Tools: Prosecution and Security Detention
Geoffrey S. Corn
Imminence Reconsidered
Asa Kasher

Part 4: Emerging Issues and Challenges

Inciting Terrorism on the Internet: The Limits of Tolerating Intolerance
Amos Guiora
Combating Incitement to Violence on the Internet through Service Provider Action
David Matas
Police and Incitement to Terrorism: The Challenge of Countering Violent Narratives
Robert R. Friedmann


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