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9 - The financial war on terrorism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2009

Kevin E. Davis
Affiliation:
Professor of Law New York University School of Law
Victor V. Ramraj
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
Michael Hor
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
Kent Roach
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
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Summary

Introduction

In the aftermath of 9/11 many facets of counter-terrorism legislation have come under intensive scrutiny. Provisions granting state officials enhanced investigative powers, greater authority to withhold information from the public and broader powers to detain people without trial have all been hotly debated around the world. In contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to the provisions aimed at controlling the financing of terrorism. Yet these provisions have the potential to affect an extremely broad range of economic activity, both legitimate and illegitimate, and for that reason are worthy of scrutiny.

This chapter is designed to provide an introduction to the legal instruments designed to counter financing of terrorism and the policy concerns that they raise. Part I describes three main types of legal provisions designed to combat the financing of terrorism (prohibitions, provisions authorizing deprivations of property and monitoring provisions), different approaches that have been taken to the design of those provisions, and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. The central objective of this Part is to discuss the range of actors and transactions that are likely to be affected by the various legal initiatives, with particular attention to the degree of proximity to actual terrorist activity that is required and whether legitimate commercial activity is likely to be affected.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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