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Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

Purpose of the mandate

As incidents of terrorism continue the misuse of legislation and policies to combat terrorism have grown with an adverse impact on human rights and fundamental freedoms. This mandate was created to:

  • Promote and ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms by recommending rights-compliant counter-terrorism legislation and policies;
  • Offer support, technical assistance, and expertise to States, UN entities, civil society and other relevant stakeholders; and
  • Be responsive to the shifting landscape of counter-terrorism and anticipating long-term needs and strategies.

About the mandate

In April 2005, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 2005/80, created a mandate of a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Subsequently, the mandate was extended by the Human Rights Council multiple times, most recently on 12 April 2022, for a further period of three years through resolution 49/10.

Current mandate holder

Ben Saul

Since 1 November 2023, Ben Saul has been the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. He is the Challis Chair of International Law at The University of Sydney and has expertise in public international law, counter-terrorism law, human rights and refugee law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law. He has taught at Oxford, Harvard, The Hague and Xiamen Academies of International Law, and in Europe and Asia; practised in international tribunals; advised governments, NGOs and the United Nations; and worked on international law in over 35 countries.

Read Mr. Ben Saul’s full biography

Contact Information

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism

OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland
Email: [email protected]

Former Mandate holders


Mr. Ben Emmerson (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
1 August 2011-31 July 2017

Mr. Martin Scheinin (Finland)
1 August 2005 - 31 July 2011

Videos

Interactive Dialogue: SR on Countering Terrorism - 21st Meeting, 46th Regular Session Human Rights Council
4 Mar 2021 
Watch on UN Web TV

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin (Special Rapporteur) on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism - Virtual Press Conference
16 October 2020
Watch on UN Web TV