Initiative on Criminal Justice Responses to the Linkages Between Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crimes and International Crimes

Under the auspices of the Criminal Justice and Rule of Law (CJ-ROL) Working Group, the Initiative on Criminal Justice Responses to the Linkages Between Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crimes and International Crimes aims at exploring the synergies and challenges for criminal justice responses to the linkages between terrorism, transnational organized crimes and international crimes. Many terrorism-related crimes have an international aspect and overlap in scope with transnational organized crimes, such as corruption, money laundering, terrorism financing, kidnapping for ransom, illicit trafficking (arms and weapons, drugs, natural resources, cultural property), trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and maritime crimes, or with international crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture, slavery, and related sexual and gender-based crimes. The linkages raise several criminal justice challenges and trigger questions related to the applicable legal regimes, jurisdiction, cooperation matters and evidentiary challenges.

In 2018, the GCTF endorsed the Abuja Recommendations on the Collection, Use and Sharing of Evidence for Purposes of Criminal Prosecution of Terrorist Suspects providing guidance to States for the prosecution of terrorism cases. In the same year, the GCTF endorsed The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism, which encourage a criminal justice approach to the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism (Good Practices 1, 2 and 23). Building on these GCTF Good Practices, this initiative aims at providing policy and operational guidance on criminal justice responses to the linkages between terrorism, transnational organized crime and international crime, and address the challenges mentioned above. Furthermore, it will contribute to operationalize Security Council resolutions that acknowledge the linkages and encourage member states to take appropriate criminal justice measures.

Within the frameworks of this Initiative, The CJ-ROL Working Group, with the support of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), developed the GCTF Addendum to The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism: Focus on Criminal Justice. The Addendum offers good practices and recommendations on how to strengthen criminal justice approaches and to improve the capacity of law enforcement officials and prosecutors to successfully detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes that sit at the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime while respecting international human rights law. The Addendum was endorsed in September 2020. 

The CJ-ROL Working Group will continue its work within the framework of the Initiative on Criminal Justice Responses to the Linkages between Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crimes and International Crimes and develop a framework document on criminal justice responses to the linkages between terrorism, and international crimes, including trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.