United Nations CTED Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) Virtual Open Briefing on The Role of Judges, Prosecutors and Defence Counsel in Bringing Terrorists to Justice, including the Effective Use of Battlefield or Military-Collected Evidence, 12 November 2020
On 12 November 2020, the IIJ participated in a United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) Virtual Open Briefing on “The role of judges, prosecutors and defence counsel in bringing terrorists to justice, including the effective use of battlefield or military-collected evidence”. This important event engaged key stakeholders in the counter-terrorism field, including: H.E. Mr. Tarek Ladeb, Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Assistant Secretary-General Michèle Coninsx, CTED Executive Director; Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, Ambassador, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, and Adjunct Director of the Centre of Expertise on Counter-Terrorism Measures at the French Military Academy; Mr. Anton du Plessis, CTED Legal and Criminal Justice Coordinator; Mr. Gary Balch, General Counsel, International Association of Prosecutors (IAP); and Ms. Kate Orlovsky, Director, The Hague Office, International Bar Association (IBA).
During the briefing, IIJ Executive Secretary Mr. Thomas Wuchte presented IIJ views and perspectives on the daily challenges faced by criminal justice practitioners in bringing terrorists to justice, in particular, in relation to the use of information or evidence obtained in conflict zones and related IIJ programmes. Mr. Wuchte briefed the Committee on the IIJ’s extensive capacity-building work with practitioners, primarily in Africa and the Middle East, and shared a series of practical recommendations for opportunities to further build practitioner capacity in areas as such as the use of battlefield evidence, evidentiary challenges addressed in the GCTF Abuja Recommendations on the Collection, Use and Sharing of Evidence for Purposes of Criminal Prosecution of Terrorist Suspects, and remote access to justice. The latter – a topic with particular resonance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic – is also the theme of a joint IIJ – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) collaboration to develop a set of IIJ-UNODC Good Practices for Remote Access to Judicial Proceedings in Terrorism Cases, to guide remote access while respecting the rights of accused persons, witnesses, and victims, and children detained in terrorism cases. The latter builds on the IIJ’s leadership under the IIJ Juvenile Justice Initiative, which supports implementation and operationalisation of the GCTF Neuchâtel Memorandum on Good Practices for Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context.
A video of the full Virtual Open Briefing is accessible at bit.ly/2N7rtSK.