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Beatrice de Graaf at radicalisation conference Leuven

KULeuven-logoOn 13 September 2016 Prof. Beatrice de Graaf presented a paper at the KU Leuven during the conference “Radicalisation in/and the low countries. The Troubled trajectories of an empty signifier. More information and the conference programme are available via the website of KU Leuven.

Title: Foreign Fighters on Trial. Sentencing Risk in Recent Dutch Court Cases
Abstract: In debates on the preemptive measures of the war on terror, criminal law is often regarded as the antithesis to exception – a conventional mode of response that acts on the basis of past harm. Since 11 September 2001 however, significant new terrorism laws have been adopted in most countries with the aim of rendering possible disruption and prosecution of potential terrorists in preparatory stages. Ancillary acts increasingly further in advance of actual violence are brought within the remit of criminal law. This paper engages the question of the precautionary turn in criminal law itself, and how it plays out in actual courtrooms. This paper examines the terrorist trial as a performative space where potential future terror is imagined, invoked, contested and made real. By focusing on the cases against terrorism suspects involved in attempts to join the Caliphate between 2013-2016 in The Netherlands, this paper examines how present criminal offences involving terrorist aims and intent are constituted through the appeal to potential future violences and linear projections of radicalisation models. This paper teases out how techniques of actuarial justice are applied that transform these trials function into instruments of managing the risk presented by the offender.