The Impact of Counter-Terrorism Security Measures on Fundamental Rights

di Rosario Serra-Cristóbal

The issue of global risks has surfaced on every country’s political agenda. Those risks include food safety risks, pandemics, global warming and other environment-related risks, financial crises, and terrorism. Concerns surrounding these issues generate a sense of insecurity that has to be addressed. The necessary steps may vary, but most of them are subject to the priority governments assign to securing both homeland security and the defense of the sovereign State. No State can afford to face this challenge alone.


Global risks have prompted many States to implement policies aimed at preserving national security, in particular to combat terrorism. However, these measures have systematically violated fundamental rights. The central theme of this essay is to highlight the need to establish supranational standards of human rights protection in order to limit preventive national security policies that would otherwise infringe such rights. In order to achieve this, international courts or human rights monitoring bodies would play a key role, and the core lessons drawn from constitutionalism would help shape the response to such risks, particularly when it comes to finding the right balance between rights and security.

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