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Sliedregt, E. van


Elies van Sliedregt

Elies van Sliedregt, born in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, the Netherlands, in 1971. LL.D. from Tilburg University. Professor of Law at VU University Amsterdam.

Fellow (1 April 2011 - 30 June 2011)

The spillover effect of terrorism trials

Since 9/11 one can detect a spillover effect of anti-terrorism legislation affecting ‘ordinary’ criminal law. Terrorism charges are ‘abused’ by investigative and prosecutorial entities for purposes other than those for which they were developed. In New York organized or gang-crime is prosecuted as terrorism to ensure conviction with a higher sentence. In the Netherlands suspects are charged with terrorism to enable pre-trial detention which would otherwise not be possible. Another type of spillover effect concerns the impact of (high profile) terrorism trials on legislative processes. Terrorism trials that have lead to acquittals (Rotterdam / AIVD case) or findings of unconstitutionality (certain Guantánamo Bay cases) have shown to heavily influence parliamentary/congressional debate, leading to more and more severe anti-terrorism legislation. Especially the latter effect may be regarded as illustrative for the ‘performative power’ of terrorism trials. The aim of this research project is to map and analyse the spillover effect of anti-terrorism legislation and trials in the post 9/11 era.

Sliedregt, E. van, Criminal Responsibility in International Law (Oxford University Press), forthcoming.

Sliedregt, E. van, Tien tegen één. Een hedendaagse bezinning op de onschuldpresumptie, (Ten to one, A contemporary reflection on the presumption of innocence) Boom Juridische Uitgevers, 2009. 

Borgers M.J. and Sliedregt E. van, ‘The precautionary principle and anti-terrorism legislation’, Erasmus Law Review, (2009), p. 172-195 at,




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