Legal Issues

Legal Issues

The adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) introduced a significant new dimension to international counter-terrorism law by requiring all Member States to criminalize various acts associated with terrorism. 

as well as the financing or planning of such acts. The resolution emphasizes the need to bring terrorists to justice through effective criminalization and requires that the punishment duly reflect the seriousness of such acts. 

The Counter-Terrorism Committee is tasked with monitoring, promoting, and facilitating States’ implementation of Council resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005), and 2178 (2014). The Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) supports the Committee by analysing States’ strengths and weaknesses, good practices, and assistance needs, inter alia, by helping the Committee prioritize States’ assistance requests and recommending potential sources of assistance in the areas highlighted during the review process. 

Security Council resolution 2178 (2014) addresses the exceptional challenges posed by the foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) threat and establishes States’ obligation to criminalize additional acts specific to the FTF threat and ensure that prospective terrorists can be brought to justice for actions taken to prepare or facilitate terrorist acts, including travel. 

CTED’s legal experts help States ensure that their measures respect the rule of law, including human rights, and support the international criminal justice system by collaborating closely with legal professionals in workshops and seminars. 

CTED facilitates support to victims of terrorism; works with parliamentarians to ensure a holistic approach to legal issues; and facilitates delivery of technical assistance, including in legal matters, by identifying best practices and effective technical, financial, regulatory, and legislative assistance programmes; promoting synergies between the assistance programmes of international, regional, and subregional organizations; and serving as an intermediary between potential donors and recipients. CTED also maintains an on-line directory of assistance providers. 

In its efforts to help States address the challenges of bringing terrorists to justice, CTED has participated in or co-organized a series of seminars for national counter-terrorism prosecutors. In order to promote a criminal justice approach to counter-terrorism, it also holds seminars for judges and prosecutors. CTED further facilitates long-term initiatives, together with its implementing partners, drawing on the experiences shared and lessons learned. These initiatives are held in all regions of the world and address certain key topics in greater depth. 

A strong criminal justice system that includes a robust and proactive prosecution service is essential to the effective implementation of resolution 2178 (2014). In this regard, the Committee and CTED provide support to Member States in their efforts to effectively prevent, criminalize, and prosecute various acts associated with FTFs. 

Download the CTED factsheet about legal issues.