Students at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) recently presented the findings of a research project on the feasibility of establishing global networks of terrorism prosecutors, conducted on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).

SIPA students with Columbia Professor Bruce Cronin (center). Flanking Mr. Cronin are CTED's W. Chen (right) and D. Scharia (left).

The research phase consisted of interviews and network analysis. Around 30 prosecutors and professionals involved in the prosecution of terrorism cases around the world were asked to share their views on the development of an international prosecutors' network. The students also conducted research on existing international and regional networks in the fields of terrorism, international law and law enforcement.

"Our academic research is meant to raise issues and possibilities. We know that it is then for you to decide what should be feasible", said project leader Professor Bruce Cornin.

Mr. Weixiong Chen, CTED Deputy Executive Director, thanked the SIPA team for their contribution.

"Academic support for the United Nations in combating terrorism is of great importance. We commend SIPA for tackling this difficult challenge and for bringing innovative ideas to CTED", he said.

Mr. David Scharia, coordinator of the CTED Legal and Criminal Justice Group, added:

"CTED has invested a huge amount of effort in developing prosecutors' networks and enhancing cooperation and trust among counter-terrorism prosecutors. This research will give us a better understanding of what works and how we can enhance the effectiveness of our efforts."

The SIPA team recommended, among other things, that prosecutors' networks begin with a few key players and be organized into regional subgroups. Network members should use a discussion board and an individual database accessed through a secure online platform.

Since 2010, CTED has organized several global and regional meetings for counter-terrorism prosecutors, designed to encourage the sharing of good practices and challenges in a trust-building environment.

Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) requires all States to criminalize active and passive assistance for terrorism in domestic law and to bring violators to justice.


This page was last updated on: 22-May-2013 2:13 PM EST