Through a study of historical development, this note compares the current antiterrorism legislation in the United States and the United Kingdom. In Part I, the author first sets out the history of British attempts to counter terrorism looking specifically at Northern Ireland. He then discusses parallel American law noting the numerous civil rights violations that came with the laws of each country. In Part II, the author investigates provisions of the United State’s Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), and Britain’s Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act of 1998 (“EPA”) and Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act of 1998 (“TCA”). Finally, in Part III, the author argues that the traditional counterterrorism strategies are insufficient to address “the complexity of terrorism,” and that because the AEDPA resembles the flawed British model for antiterrorism, examination of how British legislation is failed should be undertaken to shape future American law.

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