Friday, June 21, 2013

Contemporary Perspectives in Criminology

1.0.0 Introduction Combating crime is one of the major issues that governments all over the world are confronted with (Dubber and Farner, 2007). There are many international bodies, such as the United Nations, that are major players in the contemporary discussions on crime. The United Nations body was formed in in the year 1945 after the World War Two. Kochler (2006, p. 323) reveals that in the post Cold War period the UN organization was expected to ensure international peace and harmony so as to deter any war as catastrophic as the two world wars. By the year 2011 the United Nations was comprised of 193 member states. Upon its foundation in the year 1945, the United Nations replaced the Leagure of Nations that had previously served a similar purpose. Apart from deterring war between nations and presenting nations with a platform on which to solve conflicts by use of diologue and diplomacy, the United Nations is typified by a number of policies regarding human rights and legal issues in the international arena. One such policy is the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism UN policy against terrorism. A great number of nations in the contemporay day have at one time or the other borne the brunt of terrorism. As a matter of fact, terrorism is one of the major threats to both national and international security and well being of many nations in the world. Barely seven days pass by without some form of terroristic act being perpetrated in different parts of the world. This paper will deliberate upon the United Nation’s policy on terrorism that is referred to as International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. A summary of the policy’s main accomplishments as well as its criticisms and shortcomings will also be deliberated upon. The consequences of this policy document and the recommended transformations will also be depicted before a summative conclusion and list of the bibliography quoted herein is drafted. 2.0 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism In the year 1937 the League of Nations formulated a draft convention which outlined steps for the prevention and punishment of crimes and criminals related to terrorism. In this draft terrorsim was defined as “All criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the general public”. This definition does not mention terrorism acts that are perpetrated against civilians. Since the year 1963, the global community has created several lawful tools aimed at addressing the issue of international terrorism. According to Lavelle (2000) the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) is the main UN instrument through which nations affiliated to the UN are presented with obligations and duties aimed and fighting terrorism. The main obligations include the acceptance and ratification of the 12 UN convections against terrorism (Bantekas, 2003, p. 317). Klein (2009, p. 1) points out that the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism was adopted on the 9th of December the year 1999 without the United Nations General Assembly voting (Jankowitsch- Prevor, 2007). This was referred to as resolution 54/109. The policy was then enforced on the 10th of April the year 2002 and by 31st October 2008, 167 nations had adopted the policy. The major purpose for this policy is making possible the arrest and prosecution of persons suspected to finance terrorist activities. States are either compelled to arrest and prosecute such individuals or hand them over to states that have established judicial structures to do so (Bantekas, 2003, p. 315). Klein (2009, p. 4) claims that, initially, the success of this Convention was limited. This is due to the fact that by the time the Semptember 2001 attacks in the US were perpetrated only 4 nations had complied with the policy’s stipulations. After 2001, however, many nations took the issue of security seriously and on the 28th of September the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1373 (Talmond, 2005). It is under this resolution that the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) was formed on the 11th of September for the purposes of monitoring and enhancing overall activities related to terrorism. The global legal framework in the fight against the financing of terrorism has attained much stability over the years particularly since many of the UN member states have been obligated to abide by the stipulations of both this convection and resolution 1371 (2001) (Klein, 2009, p. 4). The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism has had a number of consequences for both regional and international security. Klein (2009, p. 4) posits that an increased number of nations have taken it upon themselves to adopt the necessary measures- as per the domestic and regional legislatures- so as to set up jurisdictions to address the offences provided for in the Convention. Michaelsen (2012, p. 431) claims that it is very urgent that states respond effectively to the threat of insecurity posed by terrorism. A major complexity that has characterized the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism is the fact that the UN Security Council has enclosed the stipulations of this convention in undeviating, compulsory, general and abstract forms; this is demonstrated by the fact that the provisions of the convection are neither bound by time nor restricted to particular contexts (Klein, 2009, p. 4). The point of contention has been the fear by a number of commentators that the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) by the Security Council is tantamount to engagement in law making activities. The legality and lawfulness of such as action under the UN Charter has on several occassions been a subject of controversy. As already indicated, one of the major criticisms that the UN has received in regard to its efforts in responding to issues of global terrorism is its inability to come up with an agreement on the definition of terrorism. Juergensmeyer (2003) purports that such a definition should indicate the different types of terrorism, for instance, religious terrorism. Klein (2009, p. 4) also states that the Security Council has also been accused of conducting itself with bias as demonstrated in the council’s discriminative incorporation of elements in this Convention. A feasable example is the stipulation regarding the safeguarding of human rights for individuals prosecuted under the provisions of the Convention (Bantekas, 2003, p. 315). One of the major recommendations that can be applied to ensure better results from the UN Convention discussed here is for the UN member states to engage in more regular and relaxed summits which will serve to increase regular exchages of information and ideas invaluable in the fight against global terrorism (Kydd & Walter, 2006). In addition to this, the UN member states should search for alternative sources of funding to ensure the successful application of the Convention’s provisions. 3.0.0 Conclusion Even before the United Nations body was established in the year 1945, nations on the international arena put in efforts to ensure global security. As early as the year 1937, the League of Nations formulated a draft convention which outlined steps for the prevention and punishment of crimes and criminals related to terrorism. In this draft terrorsim was defined as “All criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the general public”. This definition does not mention terrorism acts that are pepetrated against civilians. This paper has discussed criticisms, success, consequences, complexities and recommendations regarding the analyzed Convention. Although the United Nations is yet to come to a consensus on an appropriate definition of terrorism, a number of efforts have been put in place to ensure that different forms of global terrorisms are responded to effectively. While the UN is a major player in the global effort towards the annihilation of international terrorism, it is confronted with the challenge of redressing the terrorism issue while at the same time acknowledging the features that typify humanity’s common civilization that necessitated the estabishment of the UN body. This can only be achieved if the UN responds to the terrorism issue according to the standards and expectations of the global community. 4.0.0 Work Cited Bantekas, I., (2003), ‘The International Law of Terrorist Financing’, American Journal of International Law, vol. 97, pp. 315-333 Dubber, M. D. & Farmer, L., (2007), 'Introduction: Regarding Criminal Law Historically', in Modern histories of crime and punishment, Stanford University Press, pp. 1-13 Jankowitsch- Prevor, O., (2007), ‘International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism’, http://www.oecd-nea.org/law/nlb/nlb-76/007_029.pdf [Accessed on 14th May 2013] Juergensmeyer, M., (2003), Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, 3rd rev. edn, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA Klein, P., (2009), ‘International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism’, Center for International Law, United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law Kochler, H., (2006), ‘The United Nations Organization and Global Power Politics: The Antagonism between Power and Law and the Future of World Order’, Chinese Journal of International Law, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 323-340 Lavelle, M., (2000), ‘The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism’, Available Online: http://www.zaoerv.de/60_2000/60_2000_1_b_491_510.pdf [Accessed on 14th May 2011) Michaelsen, C., (2012), 'The Triviality of Terrorism', Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 431-49 Talmond, S., (2005), ‘The Security Council as World Legislator', American Journal of International Law, p.175.