Against the background of the global campaign against terror, anti-terror legislation in Germany and China ignites considerable debate over the relationship between public security and individual freedom. The project reviews the latest developments in German and Chinese anti-terrorism legislation and studies how the legislation is implemented. The aim of the project is to explain whether and to what extent Germany and China provide their citizens with adequate legal protection regarding human rights.

The 9/11 at­tacks are re­garded by many people as a wa­ter­shed in the his­tory of crim­in­al justice. The USA, per­ceived in gen­er­al as a lead­er of the free world, over­re­acted to the ter­ror­ist danger and took re­press­ive meas­ures to ad­dress it. Oth­er coun­tries fol­lowed suit with sim­il­ar ac­tions to strengthen pub­lic se­cur­ity and re­strain civil liber­ties. Against this back­ground, anti-ter­ror le­gis­la­tion in Ger­many has of­ten been a top­ic that sparks in­tense de­bate. Con­dem­na­tion of hu­man rights vi­ol­a­tions oc­curs when China takes tough meas­ures to com­bat do­mest­ic ter­ror­ism.

The sub­ject mat­ter of the pro­ject is anti-ter­ror le­gis­la­tion in Ger­many and China (in­clud­ing laws, reg­u­la­tions, meas­ures, and policies) and the im­ple­ment­a­tion of such le­gis­la­tion. The ori­gins, mo­tiv­a­tions, and con­tro­ver­sies be­hind the le­gis­la­tion will also be ex­plored. The aim of the pro­ject is to ex­plain wheth­er and to what ex­tent Ger­many and China provide their cit­izens with ad­equate leg­al pro­tec­tion re­gard­ing hu­man rights. The pro­ject is also ex­pec­ted to provide new per­spect­ives for the im­prove­ment of Ger­many’s ex­ist­ing anti-ter­ror le­gis­la­tion and, more im­port­antly, con­struct­ive re­com­mend­a­tions for the draft­ing of China’s first anti-ter­ror code. The meth­od­o­logy in­volves a norm­at­ive and com­par­at­ive ana­lys­is of anti-ter­ror le­gis­la­tion in both coun­tries. Rel­ev­ant aca­dem­ic lit­er­at­ure will also be eval­u­ated.

The pro­ject con­sists of three parts. In a first step, the his­tor­ic­al de­vel­op­ment of ter­ror­ism and the cor­res­pond­ing leg­al meas­ures in Ger­many and China will be ana­lyzed by way of two coun­try re­ports. The ana­lys­is takes in­to ac­count not only how Ger­man and Chinese anti-ter­ror le­gis­la­tion is formed (law on the books) but also how it is im­ple­men­ted in view of pro­tect­ing hu­man rights (law in ac­tion). The second step is a com­par­at­ive ana­lys­is of the ma­jor anti-ter­ror reg­u­la­tions and their con­sti­tu­tion­al found­a­tions. These found­a­tions are dealt with from two per­spect­ives: first, pro­tec­tion of ba­sic rights (e.g., hu­man dig­nity, life and phys­ic­al in­teg­rity, per­son­al free­dom, fair tri­al, and pri­vacy) and second, gen­er­al prin­ciples that guar­an­tee this pro­tec­tion of ba­sic rights (e.g., rule of law, su­prem­acy of law, cer­tainty of law, re­ser­va­tion of law, prin­ciple of pro­por­tion­al­ity, sep­ar­a­tion of powers, fed­er­al­ism, ju­di­cial in­de­pend­ence, and con­sti­tu­tion­al re­view). The third step in­cludes a sum­mary of the re­search find­ings and a dis­cus­sion of the dif­fer­ent so­cial val­ues and so­cial real­it­ies that have a say in de­term­in­ing the dif­fer­ing se­cur­ity-liberty bal­ance in Ger­many and China.

Re­search find­ings up to now in­dic­ate that the bal­ance between se­cur­ity and liberty in Ger­man anti-ter­ror laws has in­creas­ingly tilted to the former. While most of these laws are con­sist­ent with the con­sti­tu­tion­al prin­ciples that guar­an­tee the pro­tec­tion of ba­sic rights, oth­ers pose sig­ni­fic­ant chal­lenges to the con­sti­tu­tion. By com­par­is­on, ter­ror­ist sus­pects in China are con­fron­ted with re­press­ive and harsh crim­in­al justice meas­ures. Al­though China has more leg­al dis­cre­tion to fight ter­ror­ism, the ex­ist­ing leg­al sys­tem has many de­fi­cien­cies in pro­tect­ing civil liber­ties, and the leg­al prac­tice of­ten goes far bey­ond the lim­its that are al­lowed by China’s law.