CSIS Database of Legislation on the Definition of Terrorism

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May 29, 2018

To better understand the impact of counterterrorism legislation and legal frameworks on the work of civil society, the Center for Strategic and International Studies created a database of countries' laws defining terrorism and penalties associated with committing or supporting acts of terrorism. Anecdotal evidence suggests that overly broad and vague definitions of terrorism have given governments license to crack down on civil society within the bounds of its laws. 

CSIS's ultimate goal is to develop evidence-based solutions that enhance the resilience and sustainability of civil society and broaden constituencies for human rights. The database was developed as a first step in this process. It includes counterterrorism legislation, anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism legislation, criminal codes, NGO laws, and any other relevant domestic legislation that bears on the way the country defines terrorism and punishes those responsible for terrorist acts. CSIS is particularly interested in capturing how counterterrorism laws infringe on fundamental human rights, including freedom of assembly, association, and/or expression. This information will be used to develop recommendations to safeguard the legitimate space for peaceful civil society actors, while addressing the real threat of terrorism.

Access the resource: Aligning Security with Civic Space