Risk assessment instruments provide a promising but controversial forecasting approach for security agencies. This doctoral project aims to structure the legal framework of their use in counterterrorism and counterextremism. A comprehensive analytical framework will be developed by examining which types of instruments are compatible with the rule of law and fundamental rights, and their lawful conditions of use. Unlike other scholarship in this area, this project focuses not on collecting but on using information, which aims to significantly expand our knowledge about the dogmatics of fundamental rights interference. To do so, this project employs a methodological blend of interdisciplinarity, doctrinal analysis and statutory interpretation. Interdisciplinary analyses include examining the functionality of risk assessment instruments, their field of application and accompanied problems, and providing an overview of items used in risk assessment instruments that involve the risk of committing a politically motivated crime. After structuring these different items and functionalities, the project uses doctrinal analysis to examine which constructions are consistent with the rule of law and fundamental rights, and to determine the quality and intensity of fundamental rights interference(s). The project also uses statutory interpretation to examine if, and in which cases, risk assessment instruments can be used. Finally, by examining the influence of digitisation on forecasting and the latter’s impact on fundamental rights and the rule of law, this dissertation engages the second and third matrices of the Department’s research agenda.
Research outcome: doctoral thesis at the University of Freiburg (2020–2023).