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CM(2007)94 18 May 20071
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999bis Meeting, 20 June 2007
10 Legal questions


10.5 Committee of experts on terrorism (CODEXTER)

Abridged report of the 12th meeting (Strasbourg, 23-24 April 2007)

For consideration by the GR-J at its meeting on 12 June 2007
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1. The Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) held its 12th meeting in Strasbourg, from 23 to 24 April 2007 under the Chairmanship of Ms Marja Lehto (Finland). The list of participants is set out in Appendix I to the meeting report (document CODEXTER (2007) 16 prov) and the agenda is set out in Appendix I to the present report.

2. The CODEXTER adopted the report of the previous meeting, held in Strasbourg from 4 to 6 December 2006 (document CODEXTER (2006) 57 prov) and authorised its publication.

3. The Secretariat informed the Committee about recent developments concerning the Council of Europe. Further to that, the Committee welcomed the organisation - on the initiative of the CODEXTER - of an Ad hoc meeting of chairs of Council of Europe committees to discuss terrorism and an International Conference on Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism.

4. The CODEXTER considered the decisions of the Committee of Ministers of relevance for its work. In this connection, the Committee adopted a reply to the Decision on the Summary of the Discussions of the High-level Conference of the Ministries of Justice and of the Interior – Improving European Co-operation in the Criminal Justice Field, Moscow, 9-10 November 2006 (CM/Del/Dec(2007)985/10.5e), as set out in Appendix II to the present report.

5. The Committee considered the state of signatures and ratifications of the Council of Europe anti-terrorist conventions. It welcomed the forthcoming entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, which has been ratified by Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic and Ukraine.2 The Committee took note of national developments presented by delegations and invited states not having done so to sign and ratify the Council of Europe anti-terrorism instruments at their earliest convenience. The Committee recalled the Thematic Review conducted at its 10th meeting and its decision to pursue the exchange of information on developments concerning Council of Europe anti-terrorist conventions on the basis of the questionnaire approved at that meeting. The Committee invited delegations not having done so to provide or update their replies as required by 1 October 2007.

6. The CODEXTER authorised the publication of the Country Profiles on counter-terrorism capacity of Denmark, Ireland, the Russian Federation and the Slovak Republic, as well as an update of the United Kingdom profile. Furthermore, the Committee noted that the profiles of Azerbaijan, Hungary, Iceland, Italy and Serbia would be submitted and considered at the next meeting.

7. The CODEXTER pursued its exchange of information on best practices on the protection and compensation of victims of terrorism and held an exchange of views with Mr Bernhard A. Koch from the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law (Austria) who presented his Comparative Survey on indemnifying victims of terrorism. It further welcomed the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the terms of reference of a Group of Specialists on remedies for crime victims (CJ-S-VICT) and appointed Ms Anne Marie Bolin Pennegård (Sweden) as the CODEXTER's representative to the CJ-S-VICT.

8. In pursuance of its role as coordinating committee of the Council of Europe’s activities against terrorism, the CODEXTER considered the relevant activities of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), the Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH), the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI), the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

9. The CODEXTER considered developments at national level in Croatia, Norway and Ukraine. Furthermore, it considered developments in other international fora and in particular took stock of the work of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force in support of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It took note of the activities of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and of developments at European Union level, including Europol: EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2007. The CODEXTER took note in particular of the Joint Communiqué of the Annual High-level Meeting between the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the UN and partner organisations (Vienna, 14 February 2007). Regarding Interpol, the Committee welcomed the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of Recommendation Rec (2007) 1 to member states regarding co-operation against terrorism between the Council of Europe and its member states, and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), which was prepared by the CODEXTER and welcomed by Interpol.

10. In accordance with its terms of reference, the CODEXTER continued its work regarding the identification of possible lacunae in international law and action against terrorism and the follow-up given to its Progress Report on future priority areas by various relevant intergovernmental committees.

a) The CODEXTER pursued its consideration of the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and the notion of cyberterrorism. In the light of comments from delegations, the CODEXTER decided to send the questionnaire prepared by the Bureau, as it is set out in Appendix III, to delegations for reply by 15 September 2007. Delegations having already provided replies were invited to revise their contributions if they so wished or to submit additional information. The Committee also held an exchange of views with Professor Sieber on his expert report (document CODEXTER (2007) 03). The CODEXTER agreed to pursue its consideration of this item at the next meeting on the basis of contributions from delegations, with a view to preparing an expert opinion for the attention of the Committee of Ministers.

b) The CODEXTER considered the issue of false identity information as a challenge to immigration authorities on the basis of the non-paper on False Identity Information as a Challenge to Immigration Authorities (CODEXTER (2006) 52), revised draft terms of reference for a Group of Specialists on Residence issues in the fight against terrorism (TER-S-RES) and the questionnaire prepared by the Bureau. The Committee also held an exchange of views with Mr Andrew Walmsley on his report Nationality Issues and the Denial of Residence in the context of the Fight against Terrorism – Feasibility Study. The Committee noted the readiness of the CDCJ to implement this activity in co-operation with the CODEXTER. The CODEXTER agreed that the activity of the Group of Specialists might have an added value for further discussion by the relevant committees of this issue and, with a view to adopting the draft terms of reference by written procedure, invited delegations to submit their observations concerning the specific topics to be addressed by the Group of Specialists by 1 June 2007.3 Delegations were also invited, if they so wished, to share any views or information concerning problems related to false identity information, residence issues or nationality procedures in the context of the fight against terrorism. Moreover, the Committee welcomed the replies to the questionnaire already issued by the CODEXTER and invited delegations not having done so to submit their contributions by 15 September 2007.

11. The CODEXTER decided to keep consideration of the application of paragraph E of Article 1 of the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism of 1977 on its agenda for the next meeting. In this connection, it stressed the importance of the early entry into force of the Amending Protocol to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism.

12. The CODEXTER decided to hold its 13th meeting in Strasbourg, from 17 to 19 October 2007 and adopted the draft agenda as set out in Appendix IV.

Appendix I

Agenda of the 12th meeting of the CODEXTER

1. Opening of the meeting

2. Adoption of the draft agenda and approval of the report of the 11th meeting

3. Communication by the Secretariat

4. Decisions of the Committee of Ministers concerning the CODEXTER

5. State of signatures and ratifications of Council of Europe conventions against terrorism - Follow-up to the Thematic review (June 2006)

6. International Conference on Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism in the Light of Article 3 of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

7. Country profiles on counter-terrorism capacity
-  Azerbaijan
-  Denmark
-  Iceland
-  Ireland
-  Italy
-  Russian Federation
-  Slovak Republic
-  update United Kingdom

8. Protection and compensation of victims of terrorism : Exchange of best practices
-  Exchange of views with Mr Bernhard A. Koch, European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law, Austria

9. Information on other activities of the Council of Europe:

    a. European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)
    b. European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)
    c. Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH)
    d. Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI)
    e. European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
    f. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

10. Information on measures taken at national level against terrorism

11. Information concerning work carried out in other international fora

    a. United Nations
    b. European Union
    c. OSCE
    d. Interpol

12. Identification of lacunae in international law and action against terrorism:

    a. follow-up to the Progress report of the CODEXTER

      False Identity Information as a Challenge to Immigration Authorities
      -  Questionnaire
      -  Exchange of views with Mr Andrew Walmsley on his report "Nationality Issues and the Denial of Residence in the context of the Fight against Terrorism - Feasibility Study"

    b. Use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and cyberterrorism

      -  Questionnaire
      -  Exchange of views with Professor Ulrich Sieber

13. Date, place and agenda of the 13th meeting of the CODEXTER

14. Other business

    -  Application of paragraph E of Article 1 of the European Convention for the suppression of terrorism of 1977: request submitted by Turkey
    -  Election of a representative of the CODEXTER to the Group of Specialists on Remedies for Crime Victims (CJ-S-VICT)

Appendix II

Reply of the CODEXTER to the Decision of the Committee of Ministers of 5 February 2007 (CM/Del/Dec(2007)985/10.5e) on the Summary of the Discussions of the High-Level Conference of the Ministries Of justice and of the Interior – Improving European co-operation in the criminal justice field, Moscow, 9-10 November 2006

At its 12th meeting (23-24 April 2007), the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) took note of the Committee of Ministers' decision of 5 February 2007 (CM/Del/Dec(2007)985/10.5e) and, at its request, conducted a critical evaluation of the progress achieved and of the expected results from the implementation of the conclusions of the High-level Conference of the Ministries of Justice and of the Interior – Improving European Co-operation in the Criminal Justice Field, Moscow, 9-10 November 2006.

From the outset, the CODEXTER welcomed the support expressed by the Ministers of Justice and of the Interior for its work. It also noted that all of the CODEXTER’s activities fall within the objectives of the Council of Europe documents quoted in the conclusions of the High-level Conference, namely the Warsaw Declaration and the Plan of Action adopted by the Heads of state and Government at their Third Summit in May 2005, the Resolution adopted by the Third High-level Multilateral Meeting of the Ministries of the Interior (Warsaw, March 2005), and the Conclusions of the 26th Conference of European Ministers of Justice (Helsinki, 7-8 April 2005) and and of the 7th session of the Conference of Prosecutors General of Europe (Moscow, 5-6 July 2006).

With regard to the progress achieved and expected results, the CODEXTER would like to submit the following contribution:

a. Effective implementation of Council of Europe standards against terrorism

The CODEXTER and its predecessor, the GMT, have elaborated a number of international legal instruments against terrorism over recent years, including the 2003 Protocol Amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism (ETS 190) and the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS 196). One of the current priorities of the Committee is the monitoring of the state of signatures and ratifications of the Council of Europe's conventions against terrorism. In this context, a Thematic Review on implementation of Council of Europe conventions against terrorism was carried out by the CODEXTER at its 10th meeting in June 2006.

Since the High-level Conference of the Ministries of Justice and of the Interior, one state has ratified the Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, which has brought the number of ratifications to 25, and a further 6 states intend to ratify this instrument by the end of 2007. Furthermore, four states have ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, reaching its ratification threshold for entry into force; it will therefore enter into force on 1 June 2007. A further two states have signed the Convention and 11 indicated that their ratification procedures were well advanced.

b. Country profiles on counter-terrorism capacity

The CODEXTER welcomed the support expressed by the Ministers of Justice and of the Interior for the Committee’s work on Country profiles on counter-terrorism capacity. It continues with the preparation of country profiles: 34 profiles have been published so far (available at www.coe.int/gmt).

It should be noted that these profiles have gained significant relevance and are used, inter alia, as a basis for the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee's (CTC) assessment of implementation of Resolution 1373.

c. Identification of targeted measures to combat terrorism

As stated in the Conclusions, the CODEXTER pursues its work regarding the analysis of international law and action against terrorism and the identification of possible lacunae.

The CODEXTER recalled that in November 2005, the CODEXTER submitted to the Committee of Ministers a Progress report on future priority areas for the work of the Council of Europe in the fight against terrorism. In January 2006 the Committee of Ministers took note of the Progress report and transmitted it to relevant Council of Europe committees with a view to taking decisions on follow-up. In this connection, the CODEXTER stresses the importance of ensuring its expeditious follow-up.

Moreover, since the High-level Conference of the Ministries of Justice and of the Interior, the CODEXTER elaborated - and the Committee of Ministers adopted –Recommendation Rec (2007) 1 to member states regarding co-operation against terrorism between the Council of Europe and its member states, and the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO - Interpol).

The work of the CODEXTER is currently focusing, inter alia, on the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and the notion of cyberterrorism: an independent study on this matter was submitted to and discussed by the CODEXTER at its 11th and 12th meeting. The CODEXTER also pursues its consideration of possible work concerning false identity information as a challenge to immigration authorities, as well as residence issues and nationality procedures, on the basis of the Progress Report and in co-operation with the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ).

Furthermore, the CODEXTER welcomes the proposal of the Ministers to develop a network of national contact points in order to facilitate contacts between those responsible for international judicial co-operation, particularly in the area of combating terrorism. With regard to the establishment of a database of procedures in force in the member States concerning the various types of co-operation, the Committee draws the attention to the existing database which not only contains country profiles on the legislative and institutional capacity of Council of Europe member and observer states to fight against terrorism but also the counter-terrorism legislation submitted by the states.

d. Assistance activities conducted by the Council of Europe in its member States

The Council of Europe, through its Secretariat and/or members of the CODEXTER, actively participates in the provision of technical assistance to states, either directly or in partnership with other international organisations.

The activities are defined in close co-operation with the countries concerned and with other international organisations, on the basis of the specific features of the beneficiary states.

e. Other activities

The CODEXTER welcomes the organisation by the Council of Europe, at its initiative, of the International Conference "WHY TERRORISM? Addressing the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism" (Strasbourg, 25-26 April 2007). The CODEXTER stresses the importance of ensuring that the conclusions of the conference will be taken into account in the future work of the Council of Europe.

Appendix III

Questionnaire on national law and practice with regard to the misuse of cyberspace4 for terrorist purposes
(Suggested length of replies 2-3 pages)

A. National policy

    1. Is there a national policy regarding the analysis, detection, prosecution and prevention of cybercrime in general and the misuse of cyberspace for terrorist purposes in particular? If yes, please briefly describe it.

B. Legal framework

    2. Does your national legislation criminalize the misuse of cyberspace for terrorist purposes, and
    a. are these offences specifically defined with regard to the terrorist nature or technical means of committing the crime, or
    b. is the misuse covered by other, non-specific criminal offences?

    How are these offences defined and which sanctions (criminal, administrative, civil) are attached?

3. Do you plan to introduce new legislation to counter terrorist misuse of cyberspace? What are the basic concepts of these legislative initiatives?

4. What are the existing national practices in the field of detecting, monitoring and closing down websites used for illicit, in particular, terrorist purposes and what kind of national procedures allow the blocking of access to web sites or pages considered illicit?

5. What are the existing national practices in the field of interception of, or infiltration to, the electronic correspondence (e.g. e-mail, forum, instantaneous message service, voice over IP -skype, etc).

6. Does your national legislation provide criteria for establishing jurisdiction over the misuse of cyberspace for terrorist purposes? What are those criteria?

    7. Does your national legal system establish additional offences related to attempts at, or complicity in, the commission of the misuse of cyberspace for terrorist purposes (ancillary offences)?

8. What kind of national procedures do you have for submitting an application on the activities of Internet-providers and/or hosting companies or other entities, to deprive a user from a domain name or to cancel his/her/its registration or licence?

9. What non-legislative measures do you have in your country to prevent and counter terrorist misuse of cyberspace, including self-regulatory measures?

C. International co-operation

10. Please describe your country's general framework for international co-operation regarding the misuse of cyberspace for terrorist purposes.

11. What are the existing practices and experiences with regard to international co-operation, in particular in relation to the procedures described in question 4?

    D. Institutional framework

    12. Please list the institutions that are competent for countering terrorist misuse of cyberspace.

    13. In order to counter terrorist misuse of cyberspace are there any partnerships between the public and private sectors or legal obligations for operators of electronic communication (Internet-service providers, hosting companies, etc.) as well as persons providing the public with access to systems which allow on-line communication via access to the network (cyber cafe, WiFi hotspot)?

    14. Are there any hotlines regulated by the public or private sectors permitting denouncement of those web sites which could be of a terrorist character / nature?

    E. Statistical information

    15. Please provide relevant statistics on offences relating to the misuse of cyberspace for terrorist purposes (including possibly: cases recorded, investigated, brought to court, convictions, victims etc.).

    16. Where possible, please describe briefly the profile of offenders typically involved in the misuse of cyberspace for terrorist purposes (professional background, gender, age, nationality), and possible typical organisational characteristics, including trans-national links and links to other forms of organized crime.

    Appendix IV

    Draft agenda of the 13th meeting of the CODEXTER

    1. Opening of the meeting

    2. Adoption of the draft agenda and approval of the report of the 12th meeting

    3. Communication by the Secretariat

    4. Decisions of the Committee of Ministers concerning the CODEXTER

    5. State of signatures and ratifications of Council of Europe conventions against terrorism - Follow-up to the Thematic review (June 2006)

    6. International Conference on "WHY TERRORISM? Addressing the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism" (Strasbourg, 25-26 April 2007)

    7. Country profiles on counter-terrorism capacity 
    -  Azerbaijan
    -  Hungary
    -  Iceland
    -  Italy
    -  Serbia

    8. Protection and compensation of victims of terrorism: Exchange of best practices

    9. Information on other activities of the Council of Europe:

      a. European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)
      b. European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)
      c. Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH)
      d. Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI)
      e. European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
      f. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

    10. Information on measures taken at national level against terrorism

    11. Information concerning work carried out in other international fora:

      a. United Nations
      b. European Union
      c. OSCE
      d. Interpol

    12. Identification of lacunae in international law and action against terrorism:

      a. follow-up to the Progress report of the CODEXTER

        False Identity Information as a Challenge to Immigration Authorities
        -  Questionnaire
        -  Group of specialists on residence issues in the fight against terrorism (TER-S-RES)

      b. Use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and cyberterrorism

    13. Date, place and agenda of the 14th meeting of the CODEXTER

    14. Other business

      - Application of paragraph E of Article 1 of the European Convention for the suppression of terrorism of 1977: request submitted by Turkey

    1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set out in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.

    2 N.B. On 24 April 2007, Denmark deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention.

    3 The final version of the draft terms of reference will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers after having completed the written consultation procedure.

    4 ‘Cyberspace’ should be understood as all of the means using IP technology available to users.



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