Terror versus tyranny : An examination of the interface between New Zealand's international counter-terrorism and human rights obligations
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
In the wake of the September 11 attacks, it must be confessed that I was quite overwhelmed by the horrific events, by the loss of life, and by the sheer visual impact and magnitude of the attacks against the World Trade Centre and Pentagon. Overwhelmed but at the same time eager, not in any morbid sense, to learn more about terrorism. September 11 also created significant media and public interest. Having entered academia a year earlier, after some years in private practice, and as the only international lawyer at the University of Canterbury, I responded by writing on the subject. Soon enough, that research and writing led to this thesis. As a full-time lecturer at the University of Canterbury, a part-time Barrister of the High Court of New Zealand, and a part-time PhD candidate, the progress and methodology in the writing of this thesis has been somewhat haphazard at times. The first two years of research were perhaps not typical of postgraduate research. That period of time was characterised by three types of activity: the collation of materials, from treaties to articles and cases; the writing of papers and articles on particular issues involved within the thesis topic; and the presentation of papers or other oral discussions and debate, including the giving of evidence to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on the Counter-Terrorism Bill 2002. In July 2004 I was fortunate enough to take up a research fellowship at the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University, working with those involved in the Australian Research Council funded project on Terrorism and the Non-State Actor. With that work, this period was an opportunity to almost entirely dedicate time to the writing of the thesis proper. That period saw the further development of a number of ideas and the writing of four significant chapters and the near completion of a fifth chapter. Since returning to New Zealand from the fellowship in early December 2004, the preponderance of my time was again devoted to the writing and completion of the thesis. Thus it might be said that a little over two years of research was sporadic and characterised by the research and consideration of isolated issues, while the balance of time consisted of a much more concentrated period of writing and review. When first embarking upon this research, I was warned by colleagues that this would be akin to running a marathon, and it certainly has felt so at times. However, although the run has been a solo one, there are many I am grateful to for their roadside support. To my mother, for her unfailing faith, encouragement and pride. To my supervisors, Professor Chris Joyner at the Department of Government, Georgetown University, Washington DC, and Professors John Burrows and Scott Davidson at the School of Law, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Professor Burrows' quiet, thoughtful, honest and generous oversight has meant a great deal to me, as did the generous input of Professor Davidson. I must likewise thank my colleagues, particularly those of the International Law Group at the University of Canterbury and the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University, especially Dr Neil Boister, Professor Andrew Byrnes, John Caldwell, Associated Professor Pene Matthew, and Barbara von Tigerstrom.