MOC between the IIJ and UNAFEI

Our Executive Secretary, Mr. Steven Hill signed, in Vienna, a Memorandum of Cooperation between the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law and the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI).

With this memorandum, we express our commitment to establishing a mutually beneficial working relationship with the UNAFEI, involving cooperation and exchange of information and expertise aimed at providing continuous education and training programmes on criminal justice.

The UNAFEI was established with the aim of promoting the sound development of criminal justice systems and mutual cooperation, primarily in the Asia and Pacific Regions. The activities of UNAFEI focus on training courses and seminars for personnel in crime prevention and criminal justice administration, and the research and study of crime prevention and the treatment of offenders.

Given the overlap between several of our guiding principles, and the scope of our activities, our cooperation promises to provide both institutions with a more extensive network of expertise pertinent to our aligning missions, resulting in overall enhanced capacity-building activities for both Parties.
We endeavour to increase information exchange, collaborate in identifying, collecting and disseminating best practices, lessons learned, and research findings expertise to strengthen the rule of law-based criminal justices’ responses to countering transnational threats and challenges including but not limited to terrorism and violent extremism, and we will explore opportunities for joint research activities on topics of mutual interest.

We welcome UNAFEI to attend workshops, meetings, conferences, and other events that we organise which are relevant to the subject matter of this MoC, and we will explore opportunities to jointly convene workshops, conferences or other meetings on topics and mutually-agreed issues.

We continue to recognise the importance and necessity of international collaboration to identify and address trends, needs and gaps ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of sustainable, impactful and practical capacity-building assistance in criminal justice, and the present Memorandum of Cooperation with the UNAFEI is yet another step towards the critical goal of enhanced international collaboration in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) 21st GCTF Coordinating Committee (CoCo) Meeting “GCTF – Through an African Lens” Keynote Remarks Steven Hill Executive Secretary, International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law 3 May 2023 – Cairo

Dear All,

I am pleased to share that on the 3rd of May, 2023, the IIJ participated to the 21st GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting, “Through an African Lens”.  I thank the new GCTF Co-Chairs Egypt and the European Union for the opportunity to participate to this fruitful event. It has been an honour to cooperate with them, as well as the Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding in Africa (CCCPA), to help bring the voices of a number of African practitioners to this event.

The IIJ was founded in Malta in 2014 as one of the GCTF’s three Inspired Institutions. Our mandate is to work with criminal justice practitioners – judges, prosecutors, investigators, police, and others as well as policy makers – to help build their capacity to handle cases involving counter-terrorism in line with the rule of law and human rights. We greatly appreciate the support of GCTF members as we have carried out this mandate for nearly a decade. Our work is non-political, technical, and practitioner-focused. In this regard, we welcome the plan of the Co-Chairs to identify and address the needs of practitioners as part of a revitalized GCTF.

African practitioners have always been at the centre of the IIJ’s work since our founding in Malta in 2014 as one of the three GCTF inspired institutions. I salute the work of criminal justice practitioners from African countries. The response to the evolving terrorist landscape on the African continent must include a strong prosecutorial and judicial element. Criminal justice practitioners in Africa have therefore frequently been called upon to serve as front-line responders in the fight against terrorism. This role is a crucial one. I am confident that a rule-of-law based approach contains the tools necessary to fight terrorism while preserving the values that societies hold dear – ultimately, producing more sustainable and broadly supported outcome that help respond to understandable demands for justice, including by victims.

Yet, this role brings with it daunting challenges, not least, the fact that judicial systems are so frequently under-resourced. Practitioners also often face challenges working with their counterparts in the military and security services, for example, in the transfer of evidence captured on the battlefield to the legal system. Moreover, there are serious challenges involved in the prosecution of crimes related to sexual and gender-based violence. There is much work to be done in the judicial sector to make equality between women and men a reality – not just as a matter of principle, but because, in practice, too, it will yield better results in our courts, police stations, prosecution offices, and elsewhere in the criminal justice chain.

At the IIJ we seek to ground our work in these challenges, in the lived experience of practitioners. Our Malta-based team includes a former chief prosecutor from Niger, as well as colleagues from other African countries. Of course, we also value and remain in regular touch with our network of over 8000 alumni – you. I was thrilled that we had the opportunity to hear from several of them at the CoCo Meeting.

We employ a peer-to-peer approach in our capacity building work. This means making extra efforts in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programmes to ensure that they are responsive to the needs of practitioners. Thanks to the support of our donors, we have been able to invest more in needs assessments. We recently conducted two such needs assessments for Malawi and Niger. As part of our recently-launched European Union-funded Counterterrorism Platform for Human Rights Engagement (CT PHARE) project, we will soon launch a survey aimed at identifying needs related to fair trial standards as reflected in the relevant GCTF documents. This survey is part of the work of the GCTF’s Criminal Justice and Rule of Law (CJ-ROL) Working Group.

Being responsive to needs also requires cooperation with all entities that are working in this space: the other Inspired Institutions, the United Nations systems, national assistance work, civil society, and others. One of my priorities since taking on the role of IIJ Executive Secretary has been to strengthen cooperation with all of these stakeholders. The IIJ’s work’s emphasis is on the implementation of the GCTF documents and Good Practices Guides. These documents feature prominently in IIJ courses, workshops, and other activities. We look forward to implementing the perspectives expressed at the CoCo event to generate ideas of how to continue this practical implementation, in a way that is most responsive the needs of African practitioners. GCTF members can count on the IIJ to continue to support this important focus.

Global Counterterrorism Forum 21st GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting

Remarks of Steven Hill, Executive Secretary, International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law

4 May 2023 – Cairo

I would like to thank GCTF Co-Chairs Egypt and the European Union for the opportunity for the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) to brief GCTF members on the status of the IIJ’s work. I would like to congratulate Morocco on its recently concluded service as GCTF Co-Chair.

The IIJ’s mandate is to work with criminal justice practitioners – judges, prosecutors, investigators, police, and others as well as policy makers – to help build their capacity to handle cases involving counterterrorism in line with the rule of law and human rights.

Our work is non-political, technical, practitioner-focused, and based on a peer-to-peer approach. Our 30-person team based in Malta includes a range of practitioners such as the former counterterrorism chief prosecutor from Niger as well as senior criminal justice practitioners from several other countries.

Given this orientation, we welcome the plan of the Co-Chairs to identify and address the needs of practitioners as a core element of their strategy for a revitalized GCTF.

Since its inception in 2014, the IIJ has worked with over 8000 participants from 125 countries.

In 2022, the IIJ organised 27 capacity-building activities with a wide range of thematic and geographic areas of focus. We worked with a total of 905 practitioners. 33% were women and 67% were men. Striving toward gender parity is an important goal for the IIJ, and we have more work to do.

Africa has always historically been, and continues to be, a main geographic focus region for the IIJ. Of the practitioners with whom the IIJ worked in 2022, 495 or 55 percent originated from 35 African countries. 25% were women and 75% were men.

Since the last Coordinating Committee meeting in September 2022, we have organized three longer-form core courses and 10 shorter-form focused programmes. We have also launched the EU-funded Counterterrorism Platform for Human Rights Engagement (CT PHARE) project, which is focused at

putting human rights at the core of action against terrorism. The activities feature a focus on the implementation of GCTF documents.

All of these activities are inclusive, practitioner-focused, designed to maximize effectiveness, and carefully monitored through a data-driven approach. They illustrate not only the depth of our commitment to working with criminal justice practitioners, especially from Africa, but also the range of international partners with which we collaborate as well as our commitment to working with civil society.

Since September 2022, we have offered our core course – the Counter-Terrorism Academic Curriculum (CTAC) – to cohorts of judges, prosecutors, and investigators from francophone African countries, Arabic-speaking countries, and Southeast Asian countries. This month, we will begin this course for anglophone African practitioners. So far, these specialized courses have included about 130 mid- to senior-level counterterrorism practitioners from 21 countries in North, Central, East, and West Africa, including 25% of women.

Other programmes have focused on a wide range of topics of relevance to practitioners. I will mention a selection of these programmes here.

In collaboration with UNODC, Interpol, and GIABA, we organised three programmes in a new initiative to combat terrorist financing. These gathered practitioners first from 10 countries in West Africa, and later from the Middle East and North Africa region, to discuss how terrorist groups exploit the non-profit sector and other cash-dependent entities to finance their operations.

We also offered three regional programmes on the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence linked to terrorism, working with UNODC, the Dennis Mukwege Foundation, the Special Tribunal in the Central African Republic and a range of other specialists on the matter.

We also gathered first French-speaking civil law practitioners in Burkina Faso, then English-speaking common law practitioners in Malawi and Uganda, to understand the unique challenges associated with investigating and prosecuting this type of crime. So far, these specialized courses gathered about 130 mid to senior-level CT practitioners from 21 countries of North, Central, West and East Africa, including 25% women.

We also launched our first regional programme on Excessive Pre-Trial Detention in West Africa, welcoming practitioners from 10 countries in the region to Benin to discuss this pressing procedural issue, which has very significant human rights implications. The debate was enriched by a range of civil society actors.

And we undertook three programmes on international judicial cooperation in Kenya and Somalia, working with UNODC, the EU’s mission in Somalia, and others.

All of these activities start with an assessment of practitioner needs to ensure the programmes are topical and relevant. They also engage practitioners not only in the development and design of our activities, but in their delivery. Recognizing and reinforcing the breadth of local expertise is central to our approach.

Our work is flexible and responsive to practitioners’ needs, including as these needs change with the evolving nature of the threat of terrorism. For example, we have on several occasions paused programme implementation to take stock of evolving requirements and adjust our work accordingly.

As implementing partner, we recently worked with Italy and Nigeria to organize the Plenary Meeting of the Criminal Justice and Rule of Law (CJROL) Working group took place in Malta on 27 April 2023. This Plenary Meeting was an opportunity to present and highlight this working group’s main priority areas and for us at the IIJ also an opportunity to introduce one of the deliverables that the IIJ is working on under the CT PHARE project: a Survey on the Right to a Fair Trial in Counterterrorism Cases.

Finally, our network of approximately 8000 alumni practitioners represents a true resource for understanding practitioners’ perspectives. We have recently completed a survey of our alumni to identify subjects that would be most helpful to them in their work.

Three of our alumni– from the Central African Republic, Mozambique, and Uganda – shared their perspectives with you during yesterday’s panel. We are grateful for their willingness to be with us for this discussion, which was an explain of the peer-to-peer approach that often generates insights and learning for all involved.

In conclusion, the IIJ’s unique, practitioner-focused way of working has not only enabled us to succeed so far, but also represents our valued added proposition in supporting the GCTF’s priorities in the years to come.

We are grateful for the generous support for the sustainability of the IIJ’s work as a GCFT Inspired Institution provided to date. This support can come in a variety of forms including financial contributions, secondments of personnel, contribution of subject matter experts to events, and other ways of ensuring that we can continue to support the GCTF in its important work.

The IIJ team is looking forward to work with the GCTF co-chairs, the CJROL co- chairs and other working groups as relevant on the priorities and is thrilled by the enhanced focus on Africa.

Opening Remarks by Steven Hill REMVE: Radicalisation in the Ranks


As part of our Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE) initiative, we hosted in Malta a roundtable focused on radicalisation within the security services’ ranks. This constitutes an important element of our efforts to develop the first-ever guide for criminal justice practitioners to counter REMVE, which we launched almost two years ago.

Ian Moss, Steven Hill and Gail Malone.

The event is personally important to me, due to my previous assignments at the U.S. National Security Council and NATO, and I am glad that we had an incredible group of experts joining us. Our participants included practitioners, policymakers, as well as non-governmental experts. The presence and commitment of our guest participants is a testament to the importance of the topic and the determination of everyone involved in making a difference.

As a nonpartisan multinational organisation, the IIJ is a platform for discussion that encourages intercultural dialogue in the development of capacity-building of criminal justice practitioners respecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law. With 13 Board Members and 30 staff members, we are a relatively small but highly dynamic institution. We have received funding from a wide range of donors – including the US, UK, Germany, Australia, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Canada, the EU, and now Kuwait – and our mission has always been to bring criminal justice and security professionals together on topics related to how to fight terrorism in line with human rights and the rule of law.

We offer a wide range of both foundational courses and more advanced workshops. We also offer programs that lend strategic support and assist in policy development. Further, in a growing set of disciplines, including battlefield evidence and REMVE, we use our convening authority and subject matter expertise to sponsor forums for expert exchange, such as this one.

The REMVE has been a core IIJ topic for over three years. We started work on the initiative in 2019 with series of expert group meetings, and, in 2020 and 2021, we conducted trends analysis to explore the rapidly changing landscape and identify the most pressing topics. In 2021, we also launched and distributed a REMVE Practitioners Guide, which is now available in six languages. Since then, we have held a series of tailored technical programs to analyse specific, emerging and complex threats and vulnerabilities.

In October 2022, we organised a programme in London, where we gathered researchers, academics, criminal justice practitioners, tech experts, and policy makers. The programme focused on online radicalisation, particular vulnerability of youth as a class, and links between radicalisation and specific subsets of youth, including the neurodiverse. Each REMVE programme aims to advance our collective understanding of the rapidly evolving radicalisation landscape as well as to identify tools to help address it.

GCTF Plenary Meeting: Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group

Welcome Remarks by the IIJ’s Executive Secretary Steven Hill
Global Counter-Terrorism Forum
Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group
Plenary Meeting
Malta, 27 April 2023

As a GCTF inspired institution, the IIJ greatly values our continued collaboration with the GCTF. We thank the Co-Chairs Italy and Nigeria for your confidence in selecting the IIJ as the implementing partner for this Plenary Meeting of the GCTF Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group.

The IIJ is pleased to have helped assemble a diverse group of state representatives, international organisations, academics and subject matter experts, and members of civil society. We extend our appreciation to the IIJ’s host country, Malta, for its constant support to the IIJ.

We are also pleased to have welcomed several international institutions, including representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Global Center on Cooperative Security, and Siracusa International Institute.

This meeting focused mainly on two GCTF memoranda: the Rabat Memorandum and the Hague Memorandum.

The IIJ is a non-political organisation with a mandate from the 13 members of our Governing Board of Administrators to build the capacity of criminal justice practitioners. Our work is technical, practical, and practitioner-focused. In this regard, we welcome the intention of the Co-Chairs to identify and address the needs of practitioners.

The IIJ’s work is centered on the implementation of the GCTF documents. These documents feature prominently in IIJ courses, workshops, and other activities. The three IIJ directors who lead this work were present at the event.

Our IIJ experts moderated the panel sessions in the meeting. They specialise in a wide range of topics including addressing homegrown terrorism; mutual legal assistance and extradition; countering the financing of terrorism; global central authorities initiative; and delivering foundational courses for investigators and judges handling terrorism cases.

We also presented an update on the EU-funded Counter-Terrorism Human Rights Engagement Platform (CT PHARE) on a survey focusing on the implementing of various GCTF recommendations and other documents.

The IIJ looks forward to attending the GCTF Coordinating Committee meeting next week. We are grateful to GCFT Co-Chairs, Egypt, and the European Union, for the assistance in the preparation of panel discussion focused on the needs of African practitioners.

We also thank GCTF Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Countering Violent Extremism Working Groups for inviting the IIJ to moderate a panel during their side event on addressing the challenges related to the reintegration and rehabilitation of foreign terrorist fighters and their associated family members.

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