Incitement to terrorist acts and international law

Yaël Ronen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This article considers the initiative of UN Security Council Resolution 1624 (2005) in criminalizing incitement to terrorist acts, in the light of criminal and international human rights law. The analysis is informed by the specific type of terrorism with which Resolution 1624 (2005) is concerned, namely 'modern' terrorism. The article argues that the rationales for a prohibition on incitement to terrorist acts call for a relatively wide definition of potentially proscribed speech. This can be achieved without excessively infringing freedom of expression. However, the present interpretation of the proposed prohibition is so restrictive that the prohibition may fail to counter the phenomenon with which it grapples. The article also considers whether incitement to terrorist acts can be regarded as an international crime. It concludes that in some instances there may be an overlap between incitement to terrorist acts and certain international crimes, but classification of incitement to terrorist acts as an international crime requires a fragmented approach to terrorism, which is contrary to current trends.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)645-674
Number of pages30
JournalLeiden Journal of International Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Security Council Resolution 1624 (2005)
  • freedom of speech
  • incitement
  • terrorism


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