2nd edition CTAC for South and Southeast Asia Practitioners

23 April - 3 May 2024
Valletta, Malta

In April 2024, the IIJ Academic Unit, with the support of the Australian Government, delivered the second Counter-Terrorism Academic Curriculum (CTAC) course to 25 investigators, prosecutors and legal officers from South and Southeast Asian countries (Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines and Thailand).  

The course enabled mid to senior level practitioners who had successfully completed the Academic Unit’s online eCTAC course last January on proactive investigations and prosecutions to develop their expertise during an intensive, nine-day, in person programme held in Malta on reactive investigations and prosecutions.  

Ensuring a peer-to-peer approach, the course was facilitated by IIJ Academic Unit staff including: Hon. Judge Marie Compère, Director of the Academic Unit; Mr. Cheibou Samna, Academic Unit Resident Fellow and former Niamey Public Prosecutor; Ms. Rachel Rushby, Academic Unit Resident Fellow and former solicitor specialising in criminal law; and Mr. John Hughes, IIJ Senior Investigations Advisor seconded by the United Kingdom.  In addition, experts, Mr. David Izadifar, CT expert, and Mr. Maxime de Taisne from Conflict Armament Research , provided specialised sessions on the evolving terrorist threat landscape and exploiting seized weapons, ammunition and IEDs in counter terrorism proceedings.

Other topics covered during the nine-day training included the modus operandi of terrorist groups, crime scene management, countering the financing of terrorism and the collection of evidence.  The importance of a human rights-based approach and respect for the rule of law remained a fundamental element throughout the course. 

Participants collaborated on practical exercises and case studies and engaged in interactive discussions designed to identify key challenges and best practices in counter terrorism including regarding the collection of evidence, accountability, and procedural safeguards.  A key element of the course was enabling cooperation between investigators, prosecutors, and other professionals from different jurisdictions.  

The IIJ Academic Unit is grateful to the participants for their active engagement throughout this intensive course that served to enrich the learning experience for all those involved. 

The following illustrates feedback received from the course:

"This course taught us that when we collaborate, we deliver much better results." Participant from Malaysia.

"We are better equipped to fight terrorism in our countries and to provide a more coordinated response. We are excited to share our knowledge with our colleagues back home." Participant from Maldives.

"Let's continue this journey through the alumni network. This will allow for greater collaboration and to build cases about terrorism financing. We've met new friends thanks to IIJ. Now, we have a new office in Malta at the IIJ where we can seek advice and ask for help." Participant from Philippines.

"The CTAC was highly recommended by our colleagues from the first cohort, and I will now go back and do the same. I will address whatever gaps exist in our legal system and look at areas for improvement. This might be the end of the course, but we will remain involved through the alumni network. The public prosecutor in the Maldives is committed to making the training of his team world-class quality, and I can confirm now that we can provide world-class services in terms of training." Participant from Maldives.

The IIJ is grateful to DFAT, his Excellency Matt Skelly, High Commissioner of Australia and our new IIJ Alumni for such engagement!

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