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March 7, 2005

Press Release, March 8 (WG 10)

Thematic Subject Area II: Confronting Terrorism
Working Group 10
Legal responses

March 8th, the International Summit on Democracy and Terrorism will host a working group to examine how the rise of international terrorism poses certain challenges to domestic and international law. Issues to be addressed are the following:

  • The laws and conventions which should be changed to make international law powerful enough to cope with the threat of terrorism.
  • Discussion of legal principles that should guide the international fight against terrorism.
  • How the domestic tension between civil liberty and the need for security can be resolved.
  • Possible legal dilemmas and/or quagmires which we are likely to face in the future, and how we should respond.
The conclusions of this working group and 16 others will be incorporated into the Agenda of Madrid, which will be published on March 11th, 2005.

Working group members will include:

Working Group Coordinator:

  • Hans Corell (Sweden), former Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations. Member of various expert committees in Sweden, with the Council of Europe, and the OECD. Co-author of the first proposal for the establishment of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.


  • Irune Aguirrezabal (Spain-Belgium), European Co-ordinator of the International Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Formerly representative of the Spanish NGOs to the EU, as well as active associate of Basta Ya. Articles on transatlantic relations and the international criminal court.
  • Pieter Bekker (Netherlands-USA), lawyer at White & Case LLP in New York City. Former staff lawyer in the Registry of the International Court of Justice. Has been involved in twenty cases before the ICJ, including as Senior Counsel to Palestine in the most recent advisory proceeding.
  • Guy de Vel (Belgium-France), Director General of Legal Affairs at the Council of Europe. Has written extensively about legal and political issues concerning the Council and the EU, including human rights, terrorism, cyber-crime, money laundering and European legal and judicial co-operation.
  • Baltasar Garzon (Spain), investigating judge, Madrid. Spearheaded the campaign to extradite Augusto Pinochet for human rights abuses. Has sought to ban the political wing of ETA, and is now involved in the prosecution of Islamist terrorists.
  • Gerhard Hafner (Austria), professor of international law, University of Vienna. Specialist in peaceful settlement of conflicts and international criminal law. Former director of Austrian foreign ministry’s public international law division and delegate to numerous international bodies.
  • Stephen Holmes (USA), research director at the Center for Law and Security, New York University. Leading authority on democratic liberalism and its notion of constitutional government. Co-authored, among many other publications, The Cost of Rights (Norton 1998).
  • Rohan Perera (Sri Lanka), legal advisor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka. Chairman of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism, which worked on ideas of how to harmonise international legal structures in the struggle against terrorism.
  • Christopher Stone (USA), professor of criminal justice, Harvard University. Focuses on policing in democratic societies and the institutional reform of prosecution. Former director of the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City.
  • Laura Donohue (Ireland-USA), lawyer and human rights activist in Iran. Awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her activism regarding refugee, women’s and children’s rights. Author of, among other books, History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran (Roshangaran, 1993).
  • Michael P. Scharf (USA), professor of law and director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University. Attorney Adviser for U.N. Affairs and Counsel to the U.S. Department of State Counter-Terrorism Bureau during first Bush and Clinton administrations. Author of Terrorism on Trial (Carolina 2005).
  • Luis Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro (Portugal-Luxembourg), Attorney General at the European Court of Justice, Luxembourg. Professor of European and International Law at the University of Lisbon. (External member).

With the collaboration ofSafe Democracy Foundation
Members of the Club de Madrid

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