Civil Liberties v National Security in Times of Crisis: The Past Use of Internment without Trial in the United States and the United Kingdom and the Lessons for the Ongoing 'War on Terror.'


History teaches that, in time of crisis, we have often sacrificed fundamental freedoms unnecessarily. The Executive and Legislative Branches, reflecting public opinion formed in the heat of the moment, frequently have overestimated the need to restrict civil liberties. This has been especially true in regards to internment without trial. Neither novel nor normal, internment is an emergency measure which has regularly been employed in times of national crisis. Through an examination of two historical models this project aims to identify some the difficulties associated with the application of a policy of internment. Given it’s ongoing use around the world in the ’war on terror’ this exercise is a useful one. Rather than considering the modern use of internment in detail, the aim of the project is to consider the historical models in an attempt to identify general lessons which can be applied to the present situation.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Human Rights Law

Date of this Version

April 2006