Countering Terrorism in the Family Courts: A Dangerous Development

Ahdash, Fatima. 2023. Countering Terrorism in the Family Courts: A Dangerous Development. Modern Law Review, 86(5), pp. 1197-1231. ISSN 0026-7961 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article critically appraises the implications of the recent emergence of radicalisation cases in the family courts of England and Wales and the involvement of the family justice system in preventing and countering terrorism. It identifies, and takes issue with, a dominant narrative found in case-law, practitioner commentaries, think-tank reports and academic and government literature, which regards the radicalisation cases as a positive legal development. Challenging its characterisation of this line of cases as ordinary family law cases, the article uncovers the significant influence of the logic, priorities and goals of counter-terrorism policy and practice on the family courts. After demonstrating that the radicalisation cases have facilitated the extensive, if surreptitious, involvement of the family courts in the counter-terrorist endeavour, the article claims that the expansion of counter-terrorism into the family justice system is an unnecessary and dangerous legal development with worrying implications for human rights, equality and open justice.

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29 March 2023Accepted
18 May 2023Published Online
September 2023Published

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Date Deposited:

11 Dec 2023 11:42

Last Modified:

11 Dec 2023 11:47

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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