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Original scientific paper

Sanctioning of Terrorism in the System of the United Nations

Davorin Lapaš orcid id ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Rutvica Rusan Novokmet orcid id ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

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This paper analyzes the United Nations' reactions to the international crime of terrorism. It focuses on counter-terrorism international conventions adopted within the UN, as well as on moral and political sanctions contained in non-binding resolutions of the General Assembly during the period of the so-called ˝Cold war˝. However, the main focus of this research is on the analysis of legally binding resolutions adopted by the Security Council starting from the 1990s. The analysis of the development of the Security Council's resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter indicates that these resolutions, initially addressed to states responsible for the so- called ˝state terrorism˝, gradually became directed exclusively towards terrorist organizations as non-state actors. In this context, the ˝ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List˝ of the Security Council is being continuously expanded with names of individuals as well as of other non-state ˝entities and other groups˝ affected by these sanctions. Unfortunately, compared to the beginnig of 2015, when only 70 ˝entities and other groups˝ were listed, in March 2017 their number increased to over 360. These ˝entities and other groups˝, which originate from Tunisia, Mali, Albania, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, the Comoros, Pakistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Arabian Peninsula, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, the Caucasus region, Uzbekistan, and even Bosnia and Herzegovina, differ in various ways. Some of the above mentioned ˝entities˝ aim at overthrowing the government of their country, just like ˝classical˝ insurgents as temporary subjects of international law. Other non-state actors' activities are directed towards establishing a new state (for example, Ansar Eddine, Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad – MNLA in Mali, Sudan People's Liberation Movement – SPLM in South Sudan). International crimes committed by these organizations are not only the object of the resolutions of the Security Council, but they are also in the focus of interest of the International Criminal Court (the ICC). Although the international crime of terrorism is not covered by the jurisdiction of the ICC under the Rome Statute, certain international crimes committed by terrorists or under the auspices of terrorist organizations share some common features with crimes against humanity, which fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC. Thus, the ICC indirectly contributes to the sanctioning for the crime of terrorism. Further evolution of the international criminal justice, both through the jurisprudence of the ICC and other ad hoc international and ˝hybrid˝ courts, will most certainly contribute to the development of international criminal liability of individuals for the crime of terrorism.


terrorism; sanctions of the United Nations; non-state actors; the International Criminal Court

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