Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


The objective of this paper is neither to reiterate the diversity of definitions nor to corroborate a particular position on the concept of international terrorism but to facilitate the search for the definition of international terrorism, which seems to be of immediate and urgent priority in the context of 21 st century globalization. In my attempt to identify the contemporary core terrorist threat, I will first focus on a model of distinction based on the applicable law in Part I. I will discuss why this model is appropriate and compatible with the trends of international law dealing with international terrorism. In Part II, I will give a brief exposition of the risks associated with the proposed model, namely the risk of error in personam, an unavoidable risk inherent to the model proposed, especially when a State, exercising its right to self-defense, is under extreme pressure or under circumstances of exception.