UCL Faculty of Laws


Transnational Counter-Terrorism: The Urgent Need for Constitutionalist Attention

29 November 2018, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

counter terrorism

The Current Legal Problems (CLP) lecture series and annual volume was established over fifty five years ago at the Faculty of Laws, University College London and is recognised as a major reference point for legal scholarship.

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


Bentham House
UCL Laws
United Kingdom


Professor Fiona de Londras (Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham)


The Right Hon the Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore

About the lecture:

Counter-terrorism is an increasingly transnational affair. While ‘legislative’ resolutions from the Security Council have attracted some attention in the counter-terrorism and constitutionalism literature(s), transnational counter-terrorism goes well beyond this. Resolutions, norms, Directives, soft law, ‘best practice’ guidance, model laws, ‘evidence’ building, and peer engagement are all part of the increasingly intensive—and increasingly intrusive—transnational counter-terrorism now in evidence.

Promulgated not only by international organisations (such as the UN and EU) but also by hard-to-define actors such as the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and Financial Action Task Force, transnational counter-terrorism is increasingly imposing itself on domestic law- and politics-spaces, more often than not licensing (rather than limiting) what states do in this contentious policy field.

This transnational norm generation poses urgent challenges, undermining attempts to constitutionalise counter-terrorism activity at the domestic level through its opacity, apparent ‘irresistability’, and ability to close out stakeholders (including civil society) from processes of policy-making and ex post facto evaluation.

In this lecture, the nature and scale of the challenge posed by transnational counter-terrorism will be outlined, and the urgent need for constitutionalist attention to the transnational counter-terrorism space made out.

About the speaker:

Fiona de Londras is the Professor of Global Legal Studies in the University of Birmingham. Her work has been supported by the European Commission (FP7), Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, British Academy, and Leverhulme Trust, among others. She has published widely on rights in contentious policy areas, with a particular focus on counter-terrorism. She was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law in the 2017 round.


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