Launch of global initiative on effective counter-terrorism investigations and prosecutions while respecting the rule of law and human rights
The European Union pledged 3 million euros towards this project.
The global initiative the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and CTED launched in Geneva, Switzerland, on 2 October 2013 intends to support State efforts to confront their challenges in bringing terrorists to justice. The initiative calls on States to strike a balance between protecting the rights of suspects and protecting their citizens against the threat of terrorism.
Investigating and prosecuting terrorist cases present a number of challenges for the criminal justice systems of many Member States. For example, evidence and arguments may be classified, witnesses and juries may require special security measures, and attorney contacts with clients may be limited. There is a risk, as well, of infringing on human rights and fundamental freedoms during the investigation and prosecution of suspects.
UNODC has vast experience in providing counter-terrorism legal technical assistance to States. It has trained criminal justice officials the world over, assisted with counter-terrorism legislation and promoted the ratification of international legal instruments.
The Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee monitors, together with its Executive Directorate, the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), requiring States to bring terrorists to justice. Since 2010, CTED has organized a series of global seminars for prosecutors who have handled terrorist cases, giving them an opportunity to exchange views and learn from each other.
At the national level, the global initiative led by UNODC and CTED aims to strengthen the capacity of criminal justice and law enforcement officials to effectively investigate, prosecute and adjudicate terrorism cases. At the regional level, its goal is to build effective cooperation among prosecutors and law enforcement officials and facilitate the sharing of good practices. Throughout the process, States are required to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions and international legal instruments. Their response to terrorism should be grounded in the rule of law and fully respect human rights.