Home > Publications > Analyzing Definition of Terrorism as Contained in Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in Perspective of Principle of Legality with Emphasis on Element of Intention and Issues Ancillary to it

Analyzing Definition of Terrorism as Contained in Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in Perspective of Principle of Legality with Emphasis on Element of Intention and Issues Ancillary to it

Hidayat Ur Rehman

Abstract
The very first thing to do for countering terrorism is to define it. However, the
word terrorism has been proven too tricky to be defined, in an acceptable mannerat
global level, and in accordance with the established requirements of criminal
jurisprudence at national level.The paper after pointing out the absence of a globally
accepted definition of terrorism analyses its definition as contained in Pakistani law. It
argues that terrorism as defined in Pakistani law is too broad and too ambiguous to
fulfill the requirements of principle of legality, thus, giving wide discretionary powers
to government to determine as to what is terrorism which, in turn, not only renders the
anti-terrorism law prone to be misused but also over burdens the law courtsand makes
hurdles for successful prosecution.

Keywords: terrorism, definition, criminal law, anti-terrorism act, anti-terrorism
courts, mens rea, actus reus