The uneasy relationship between national security and personal freedom: New Zealand and the �War on Terror�

Small, David
December 2011
International Journal of Law in Context;Dec2011, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p467
Academic Journal
As part of the �War on Terror� declared in response to the 11 September 2001 attacks, countries introduced legislation to bolster national security, often at the expense of personal freedoms and long-established legal principles. Like the Cold War, the �War on Terror� is cast as a global struggle of good against evil. New Zealand defied Cold War logic with its anti-nuclear policy. Examining the difficulties of upholding personal freedoms and the rule of law while bolstering national security, this article analyses New Zealand's anti-terrorism legislation and shows that it has steadily moved away from its initial measured approach. It argues that New Zealand could and should develop an anti-terrorism model appropriate to low-risk societies, and that, like its anti-nuclear stance during the Cold War, such an independent approach would be a valuable contribution to the world community.


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