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The Review of the EU Counter-terrorism Strategy - a Legal Appraisal

Maria O'Neill

The EU is planning for the post-Stockholm programme AFSJ. The Lisbon Treaty transfer of the Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters from the third pillar to the new unitary structure, bringing with it the supremacy and direct effect of post-Lisbon EU law, the upgrade in legal status of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights 2000, the procedural rights road map and the judicialisation of the AFSJ, in particular post December 2014, will all have a considerable impact on the operation of "protect" and "pursue" aspects of the current EU counter-terrorism strategy. The traditional constructivist approach to the development of EU security strategies is now encountering an increasing constitutionalisation of the EU legal framework, highlighting significant legal tensions. In addition gaps in the EU counter-terrorism strategy still need to be addressed, in particular in countering the so called "lone wolf" terrorist in cyberspace. Revelations as to states potential for mass surveillance, via Wikileaks, raises both data protection and data security issues, also need to be addressed. A review of the legal framework is called for, in order to both strengthen capacity, and reinforce the legal system. This paper will critically address some of these issues from an EU law perspective.

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