Most terrorism today is international and, therefore, cross-border. As a result, two or more jurisdictions' legal co-operation is usually necessary to successfully investigate terrorism related crimes and prosecute their perpetrators.
Unfortunately, different legal systems, the absence of multilateral or bilateral agreements on legal assistance or extradition and, at times, human rights concerns, represent serious obstacles to international co-operation aimed at preventing terrorist acts and assuring punishment of terrorists and their supporters.
Recognizing these difficulties, UN Security Council resolutions 1373, 1456 and 1566 call on States "to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism, especially with those States where or against whose citizens terrorist acts are committed, in accordance with their obligations under international law, in order to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice, on the basis of the principle to extradite or prosecute, any person who supports, facilitates, participates or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts or provides safe havens".
In the absence of bilateral treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance (MLA), the international legal framework, particularly the universal anti-terrorism conventions and protocols and the Palermo Convention against transnational organized crime, as well as applicable regional treaties, provide a basis for legal co-operation in criminal matters. The ATU promotes broader use of such a basis for extradition and MLA.
The OSCE participating States have committed themselves to enhance legal co-operation in criminal matters to counter terrorism in the OSCE Ljubljana Ministerial Council Decision 4/05.
The ATU organizes, in partnership with the UNODC and other regional players, like the Council of Europe, international, regional and sub-regional events promoting international co-operation in criminal matters related to terrorism,. Ranging from extradition and mutual legal assistance to the use of legal, judicial and law enforcement tools for co-operation, the participants in these activities are mainly Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges.
The objectives of these activities are:
Building political will in favour of international co-operation in criminal matters related to terrorism;
Promoting the international legal framework against terrorism, on which such co-operation could be based;
Promoting UNODC technical assistance tools for co-operation in criminal matters;
Facilitating the exchange of good practices in the implementation of counter-terrorism investigative and co-operation tools among criminal justice practitioners.
Training prosecutors and judges in drafting extradition and MLA requests;
Promoting human rights in the fight against terrorism and efficient criminal justice systems based on the rule of law as pre-requisites for successful legal co-operation;
Facilitating sub-regional judicial and law enforcement networking and informal information exchange.
The national workshops are organized following requests by the relevant national authorities. The ATU stands ready to organize further such training workshops at the request of participating States.
For more information, please contact the ATU directly.