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Hopkins, John --- "Editor's Introduction. Special Edition: Law and Security after September 11th" [2005] NZYbkNZJur 1; (2005) 8.1 Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence iv

Last Updated: 12 April 2015


This Special Issue of the Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence has had a long gestation period. It comprises a series of themed articles on the controversial topic of Law and Security after September 11th that have been written over the past 18 months. The project was focused around two symposiums hosted by the University of Waikato Law School and the University of Hull in August 2004 and February 2005, respectively where a number of the papers were presented and discussed. The theme was by the Ahmed Zaoui case, which has become something of a cause celebre in New Zealand, and the realization that this case was symptomatic of global changes towards law and security.

The project was undertaken in collaboration with the McCoubrey Centre for International Law without whose input the project would not have been possible. It is a measure of the late Professor McCoubrey's impact that several of the authors were either former colleagues or students of his and it is appropriate that the centre set up in his honour should have been involved in this work. Particular thanks must go to its current Director, Dr. Richard Burchill for his efforts.

The nature of this project and the discussions at the various seminars has led to a long process of publication and thanks must go to the authors for their efforts and constant attempts to keep their articles up to date. I must also thank the international panel of reviewers who gave up their time to provide valuable comments and feedback, particularly Dr. James Sweeney at the University of Newcastle for stepping into the breach at extremely short notice.

The result of all these efforts is a truly international collection of articles from leading scholars and practitioners that assess the impact of September 11th and its aftermath from both international and domestic angles.
There are two themes that run through this collection. Firstly, the growing connection between domestic Public Law and Public International Law, which makes it increasingly difficult to study one without the other. Domestic public law is increasingly driven by international legal requirements (or perceived requirements) while domestic politics now, more than ever, are impacting upon the international legal order. This can be most clearly seen in the articles by Dr. Breen in relation to New Zealand and Professor Wilson on the United States. For this reason this collection presents both international and domestic responses as a first step to exploring the linkages between them.

The second theme that emerges is that although September 11`h is often seen as a crucial watershed in recent political and legal history, it is far from clear that this is actually the case. For example, Professor Moir cogently argues that the Jus ad Bellum, despite impressions to the contrary, has not shifted since the response to the events of 2001. Equally, much of the domestic legislation under which the 'war on terror' is being waged pre-dates 2001 while the use of executive detention is far from a novel phenomenon. What has changed is the way such legislation has been used and role of the judiciary in policing it.

Whether global security has been enhanced by the responses to the events of 2001 is an open question raised by a number of the authors. Such a question is beyond the scope of this collection but it nevertheless hovers n the background. As I write this, the news reports yet another bombing in Baghdad the security of the globe certainly does not appear to have improved in the years since 2001. The rights of individuals and rule of law certainly appear much less secure than they did on September 10th 2001. It will be a long time before the events that we are living through are properly understood. This collection marks a small step on the road towards such enlightenment.

It is customary in these introductions to give the reader a short resume of the papers that are to follow, but given the quality of the papers presented in this special edition and the common theme this seems an unnecessary repetition. Instead I recommend the articles contained in this edition of the yearbook to you. It's been a long time coming but I am confident that you will agree it is worth the wait.

Dr. John Hopkins
Special Edition: Law and Security after September 11th
Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence

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