DOI link for Pre-empting justice
Pre-empting justice book
This chapter focuses on the way that counterterrorism pre-crime offenses reflect the precautionary principle. It examines the rationale for acting pre-emptively in the face of what are constructed as exceptional and catastrophic threats and the way that precautionary logic has been absorbed into the heart of criminal law. It briefly considers the range of pre-crime counterterrorism laws, highlighting the breadth of these laws and how far they stray from the type of mass casualty attacks that the term "terrorism" brings to mind. The precautionary approach to terrorism, acting pre-emptively to forestall what is constructed as irreversible or catastrophic harm, even when the specifics of the threat are uncertain, has been well rehearsed. Precrime provides a platform for catastrophic futures to be pre-enacted. Pre-enactment gives uncertain possible futures substance through the preconstruction of terrorist acts. Pre-enacted futures create the foundation for and build on the identity of the terrorist, cement prophecy and fix the consequences of possible futures in the present.