Torturing the rule of law: USA and the post 9-11 world

Jackson Maogoto, Benedict SHEEHY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reaction of the USA after the September 11, 2001 attacks, including its invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent unilateral military campaign in Iraq, and various executive and legislative actions has been not merely a quiet abandonment of the Rule of Law, but through its so-called -War on Terror-, a concerted attack on the Rule of Law. In this paper we shall examine that attack on those principles, through an examination of cases, executive actions, legislations, and international law. While the authors recognize the mythical nature of the Rule of Law, they maintain that it is a useful myth in that it helps actors predict with reasonable certainty, the actions what will be accepted internationally (as between nations), help make good policy decisions and anticipate the actions of others. Furthermore, it operates as an ideal to aim for and a standard against which states' actions can be judged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-725
Number of pages37
JournalSt. John's Journal of Legal Commentary
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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