Analyzing the Definition of Terrorism in the Terrorism Act 2000

Attempts to define terrorism in legal terms can be traced back to the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act of 1989 that stated that terrorism constituted “… the use of violence for political ends, and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public or any section of the public in fear.”

An inherent drawback in this definition was that violence had to be practically used, the threat of violence that is so fundamental to terrorism was not considered in the definition. The 1989 definition also did not take into account the critical role played by violence in the name of religion and religious ideology and non-political ideology. The definition of the 2000 Act was framed to remedy the deficiencies of the 1989 Act.

Any attempt to define terrorism in its entirety would be a very difficult, if not an impossible task. This opinion has been expressed by many experts who have attempted to do so. “Above the gates of hell,” articulates Tucker (1997, pp. 51), “is the warning that all that enter should abandon hope. Less dire but to the same effect is the warning given to those who try to define terrorism.”Levitt (1986, pp. 97) thought that “a definition [of terrorism] is no easier to find than the Holy Grail.”Notwithstanding the difficulties involved, however, every state that wants to take on the growing threat of terrorism head-on has to define the phenomenon in terms that can be easily comprehended and interpreted by the wide range of people who would be involved in the effort as well as the entire population of the state who would be affected in one way or the other by the measures that are adopted to curb terrorism and restrain its growth. &nbsp.For terrorism is a phenomenon that has a way of growing roots deep inside society in the most unexpected of manners both for whom terror becomes an instrument of use and for those to whom terror becomes a very unwelcome yet inevitable part of life.&nbsp.&nbsp.