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Title: Anti-terrorism legislation in the United Kingdom and the United States : a comparative analysis
Author: Williams, Rhian Mai
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2005
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The threat posed by terrorism and the need to counter it tends to produce a cycle of action and reaction in which democracies often find themselves. The on-going threat perpetuates this cycle with the effect that more legislation is enacted, often without achieving increased security. Instead what tends to occur is the normalisation of emergency measures, the erosion of rights and liberties and ultimately the risk of the country becoming less democratic. This cycle can be said to be in existence in the United Kingdom and the United States in seeking to deal with the current terrorist threat. This thesis examines, in a comparative context, the extent to which the side effects of this cycle have occurred in both countries. This is done through examination of the extent to which the rights and liberties of the individual are restricted by the response to terrorism, namely the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 in the UK and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act 1996 and the USA PATRIOT Act 2001 in the US. In so doing, it examines the hypothesis that with regard to the legislation in question, interference with the rights and liberties examined in the UK is greater than in the US due to the profusion of legislation enacted in response to the protracted domestic terrorist struggle and the subsequent erosion of these values. Consideration is given to the previous terrorist threat and the response of each country in examining the condition of democratic values prior to the period under examination. This allows comparison with the impact of the current legislation on these values, whereby it can be seen that whilst some amount of restriction of fundamental rights and liberties has occurred in both countries, this cannot be said to be greater in the UK. The democratic foundation of each country remains intact, thereby providing the best form of protection against terrorism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available