GCTF Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group –Second Expert Meeting on Criminal Justice Responses to the Linkages between Terrorism, the Financing of Terrorism, Illicit Trafficking in Goods and Maritime Crimes
On 11-13 February 2020, the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) hosted the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Criminal Justice and Rule of Law (CJ-ROL) Working Group in St. Julian’s, Malta, for the Second Expert Meeting on Criminal Justice Responses to the Linkages between Terrorism, the Financing of Terrorism, Illicit Trafficking in Goods and Maritime Crimes. The meeting was organised by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT) and the GCTF Administrative Unit, with the IIJ serving as implementing partner.
The CJ-ROL Working Group convened this expert meeting with the aim of exploring criminal justice responses to the linkages between terrorism, the financing of terrorism, and illicit trafficking in goods and maritime crimes. The initiative built on the GCTF The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism (hereafter The Hague Good Practices), which encourage a criminal justice approach to the nexus between transnational organised crime and terrorism (Good Practices 1, 2 and 23) and the GCTF Abuja Recommendations on the Collection, Use and Sharing of Evidence for Purposes of Criminal Prosecution of Terrorist Suspects. Furthermore, UN Security Council Resolutions 2462 (2019) and 2482 (2019) underscore the need for Member States to strengthen and develop their capacity to investigate, prosecute, disrupt, and dismantle trafficking networks to address the linkages between terrorism and organised crime. The meeting identified and elaborated on the requisite building blocks for the development of good practices and recommendations on criminal justice responses to the linkages between terrorism and transnational organised crime.
The meeting convened experts within the fields of small arms trafficking, wildlife and natural resources trafficking, drug trafficking, cultural/heritage property trafficking, maritime crimes, and organised crime, to present on the various known and unknown linkages that these crimes might have with terrorism and the financing of terrorism. Some key takeaways included the acknowledgement that cultural/heritage property trafficking remain an issue in several conflict zones were terrorist groups operate, while crimes like piracy have shifted to new geographical hotspots, due to successful international efforts. Furthermore, small arms sales to terrorist groups through third party buyers continue to present a significant challenge. Moreover, while the meeting determined that no linkages had been confirmed between terrorism and wildlife trafficking, suspicions remain that the three trillion-dollar trade is at least partially financing terrorism in specific regions.
GCTF Members who participated in this meeting included: Australia, the European Union, Japan, Morocco, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the United States. The GCTF also invited partner organisations such as the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Conflict Armament Research, Eurojust, Flemish Peace Institute, Institute for Security Studies, Interpol, Small Arms Survey, UNCTED, UNICRI, UNOCT, UNODC, and the World Customs Organization. It is expected that the deliverable of this GCTF CJ-ROL Working Group-led Initiative will be an addendum to the The Hague Good Practices delivered for endorsement at the GCTF’s Coordinating Committee and Ministerial Plenary Meetings in September 2020.
For more information on this meeting, please contact IIJJunior Officer Gabriel Monterrosa.