Strasbourg conference explores effective use of special investigative techniques to prevent terrorism

CTED, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the League of Arab States held an international conference on the use of special investigative techniques to combat terrorism and other forms of serious crime, which took place in Strasbourg, France, from 14 to 15 May 2013.

Representatives of international and regional organizations and 48 States from Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa examined during the two-day event the existing international legal frameworks governing the use of special investigative techniques. The aim of these covert techniques is to gather information without alerting the subjects of the investigation. They are carried out by law enforcement or intelligence agencies in order to detect and investigate terrorist threats.

The capacity to prevent the movement of terrorists and the preparation of terrorist attacks in the region depends on the effectiveness of measures taken to control borders, as well as on effective coordination and cooperation among the services concerned, whether at the national, regional or interregional levels.

“These techniques are a vital part of an effective counter-terrorism strategy because they help prevent the loss, pain and disruption that typically flow from successful terrorist attacks,” said CTED Executive Director Mike Smith.

The use of special investigative techniques is already recognized by numerous international and regional bodies and national jurisdictions as good practice in countering terrorism. However, the emergence of new technologies in the prosecution and investigation of terrorism cases represents an additional challenge to the protection of individual rights, including the right to privacy.

“It is fair to say that the increasing use of new technologies raises significant concerns about respect for due process,” said Mr. Smith. “We must continue to pay close attention to the need for States to respect the rule of law and human rights when authorizing and using such techniques.”

The Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate (CTED) continue active engagement with international and regional organizations, aimed at strengthening their cooperative efforts to help Member States implement Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), which attaches great importance to the effective prosecution of terrorism cases.


This page was last updated on: 15-May-2013 1:39 PM EST