It would not be far-fetched to say that for better or worse, ‘terrorism’ has become one of the buzz words of the early twenty-first century. The media is saturated with references to the ‘war on terror’ and terrorist attacks – with major attacks reported in such disparate lands as Algeria, Israel, the United Kingdom, Spain, United States and Indonesia. Such attacks of course directly impact on the human rights of individuals. Yet, in State responses to terrorism, there have been dramatic incursions into human rights and the role of human rights has itself become contested. Some see human rights as a ‘luxury’ to be eschewed in the face of defeating the spectre of terrorism. There is renewed pressure on human rights advocates to justify the legitimacy of universal human rights and to encourage decision makers to see the human rights regime as an ally, rather than a hindrance, in combating the threat of terrorism.