Abstract: Terrorism, one of the most heinous threats to security, is a multidimensional and immoral evil involving crimes against society. Aviation has proved to be a vulnerable target where any act of terrorism against it attracts global attention towards the terrorist. The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014 and Metrojet in October 2015 resonates a regular trend where aviation continues to be susceptible to acts of terrorism. Terrorist acts against aviation destabilise States, threaten to obviate communications between States and unhinge the economic viability of States that depend on tourism. This brings to bear the role of the State as the ultimate organ accountable for protecting people from terrorism on the basis that accountability is the natural progression of responsibility
This article cuts across the legal obstacle at international law which effectively precludes the holding of States accountable for a breach of responsibility in the face of the dichotomy between State sovereignty and the perceived impotence of international law as a punitive mechanism. It examines international jurisprudence applicable to the accountability of States, with a focus on aviation and highlights the fact that in the context of prevention of threats to national security a new paradigm can be recognised.
Keywords: State sovereignty; State responsibility; terrorism; counter terrorism; aviation security; Tokyo Convention; Hague Convention; Montreal Convention; principles of state accountability
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