On January 20th, in a ruling seen as a sharp blow to coordinated counterterrorism efforts in Europe, Germany's highest court has refused to turn over to Spain a Mamoun Darkazanli, a 46-year-old German of Syrian origin suspected in Spain and by many independent experts on terrorism of having provided logistical and financial support to Al Qaeda. The court argued that a recent European agreement to streamline extradition procedures violated the rights of German citizens*.
The following article argues that the global legislative revision that followed the 9/11 terror attacks, aimed at improving global counter terror capabilities, is futile, unless followed by a parallel process in terms of judicial review.
The article presents the reader with a global comparative data of the legislative response to 9/11, setting the basis for a theoretical discussion of the court’s position in the political counter terror sphere. The author then continues to unfold the Israeli case of the High Court of Justice, arguing it to set a proper example for a legal system which is resilient enough to ease the ‘democratic dilemma’ of counter terror, faced by decision makers. The analysis of the Israeli case study is based on a quantitative research, including all counter terror related pleas presented to the HCJ. The article concludes with several ‘ground rules’ for the evolution of such interaction between the legal and the counter terror (political) spheres.