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Human Rights Violations after 9/11 and the Role of Constitutional Constraints

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  • Benedikt Goderis
  • Mila Versteeg

Abstract

After 9/11, the United States and its allies took measures to protect their citizens from future terrorist attacks. While these measures aim to increase security, they have often been criticized for violating human rights. But violating rights is difficult in a constitutional democracy with separated powers and checks and balances. This paper empirically investigates the effect of the post-9/11 terror threat on human rights. We find strong evidence of a systematic increase in rights violations in the United States and its ally countries after 9/11. When testing the importance of checks and balances, we find that this increase is significantly smaller in countries with independent judicial review (countermajoritarian checks) but did not depend on the presence of veto players in the legislative branch (majoritarian checks). These findings have important implications for constitutional debates on rights protection in times of emergency.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Legal Studies.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 131 - 164

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:doi:10.1086/663766

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Cited by:
  1. Friedrich Schneider & Tilman Brück & Daniel Meierrieks, 2010. "The Economics of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: A Survey (Part II)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1050, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2012. "From Collapse to Constitution: The Case of Iceland," CESifo Working Paper Series 3770, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Michael Brzoska & Raphael Bossong & Eric van Um, 2011. "Security Economics in the European Context: Implications of the EUSECON Project," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 58, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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