CM(2009)188 15 December 20091
1076 Meeting, 3 February 2010
10 Legal questions
10.2 Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) –
Abridged report of the 17th meeting (Strasbourg, 17-18 November 2009)
Item to be prepared by the GR-J on 14 January 2010
1. The Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) held its 17th meeting in Strasbourg, from
17 to 18 November 2009, under the Chairmanship of Mr Ranko VILOVIĆ (Croatia). The list of participants is appended to the report of the meeting (document CODEXTER (2009) 29) and the agenda is set out in the Appendix to the present report.
2. The CODEXTER adopted the report of the previous meeting, held in San Lorenzo de El Escorial
(Madrid, Spain) from 15 to 16 April 2009 (document CODEXTER (2009) 15) and authorised its publication.
3. The Secretariat informed the Committee about recent developments within the Council of Europe.
4. The CODEXTER considered the decisions of the Committee of Ministers that are of relevance to its work and have been adopted since the 16th meeting.
The Committee took note, in particular, of the decision of the Committee of Ministers2 to carry out a survey on the functioning of the CODEXTER - among other steering and ad hoc committees - in the year during which its terms of reference were due to expire. It also took note of the fact that the results of this survey would be taken into account when renewing the terms of reference of the CODEXTER. In consequence, it called upon the delegations to reply to the pertinent questionnaire distributed by the Secretariat within the deadline set up by the Committee of Ministers, i.e. 30 November 2009.
It further welcomed that, on 13 September 2009, the procedure for the updating of the list of treaties appended to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196) had been finalised and that, as a result of this procedure, the treaty list appended to the CETS No. 196 had been amended by adding the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. In this respect, the Committee discussed the impact of this amendment on national procedures for ratification and accession to the CETS No. 196 and welcomed the information provided by the Council of Europe’s Jurisconsult on different relevant aspects of international public law, in relation with the amendment of the above-mentioned treaty list.
The CODEXTER also took note of the setting-up, within the Council of Europe, of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross-border Internet (MC-S-CI). The Committee was of the opinion that the participation of a representative of the CODEXTER in the relevant works of the MC-S-CI would have an added value for both entities. It agreed to request observer status with the MC-S-CI and to demand admission via the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC), to which the MC-S-CI is attached. The Secretariat of the CODEXTER and its Bureau were instructed to act in this view, keeping the Committee informed of developments.
5. The CODEXTER further considered the implementation of the Council of Europe conventions against terrorism. It called upon member and observer States, which have not yet done so, to become Parties to the Council of Europe instruments against terrorism at their earliest convenience.
6. The CODEXTER took note of the outcome of the 1st Consultation of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196), which was held on 12 May 2009 in Madrid, and of the subsequent decision of the Ministers’ Deputies of 1st July 2009 (1062nd meeting), instructing the Committee to regularly follow-up the effective use and implementation of the CETS No. 196 between the meetings of the Consultation of the Parties to the said Convention.
7. In light of these decisions, the Committee held an exchange of views on a possible flexible and dynamic regular follow-up system of the effective use and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No 196). It agreed to set up a working group composed of six members of the CODEXTER, namely Ms G. KABELKA (Austria), Ambassador R. VILOVIĆ (Croatia), Ms. R. HEIKKA (Finland), Mr. M. JGENTI (Georgia), Mr. Z.GALICKI (Poland) and Mr. V. ANDREYEV (Russian Federation), and instructed this group to prepare the work of the CODEXTER under this item for the next meeting.
This work should be based on the exchange of views held during the 17th meeting within the Committee and on answers from delegations to the relevant questionnaire (see doc. CODEXTER(2009)19), which should be addressed to the Secretariat by the end of 2009.
8. Concerning the on-going activities of the CODEXTER related to specific provisions of the Convention No. 196, the Committee agreed to keep the following issues on its agenda: freedom of expression and “apologie du terrorisme”, recruitment for terrorism and protection and compensation of victims of terrorism. The methodological approach was further discussed and it was agreed:
- to invite the delegations to present to the CODEXTER pertinent national jurisprudence;
- to invite experts for exchanges of views with the Committee, preferably intergovernmental experts;
- to invite members of the Bureau to volunteer to follow-up closely each of the said items with an aim to foster discussions on them in the plenary.
9. 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. In particular, the Committee held an exchange of views with Prof. Robert Kolb (University of Geneva) on an intermediary version of the analytical study on false identity information as a challenge to immigration authorities. It agreed that this report should be finalised by the end of 2009, and, with this in mind, the Committee invited delegations to submit possible additional comments and observations by 4 December 2009. The Committee agreed to consider the final version of Prof. R.Kolb’s report at its next meeting.
10. The CODEXTER further took note of the conclusions of the CoE-OAS/CICTE Conference on Terrorism and Cyber Security (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 16-17 April 2009) and welcomed this first joint counter-terrorism initiative between these two organisations.
11. Concerning the update of the Progress Report on future priority areas, which had been elaborated by the CODEXTER in 2005, the Committee agreed to add the items “freedom of expression and ‘apologie du terrorism’” and “recruitment for terrorism” to the items enumerated already in the said Report. The delegations were invited to submit any proposals for the amendment of the Progress Report for the next meeting of the Committee.
12. The CODEXTER authorised the publication of the Country Profiles on counter-terrorism capacity as submitted by Liechtenstein and as updated by Slovenia. It took note that Albania, Germany, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Serbia will submit or update their respective profiles for the next meeting. The CODEXTER also took note of information of Greece, Hungary, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Portugal on measures taken at national level against terrorism.
13. The Committee further took stock of other relevant activities of the Council of Europe and considered developments in other international fora on the basis of presentations of the United Nations (UNHCR, UNODC and CTED), as well as the OSCE (ATU and ODIHR). The Committee also agreed and instructed the Secretariat to invite to the next meeting of the CODEXTER, Mr. Martin Scheinin, UN Special Rapporteur on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, to hold an exchange of views with the Committee.
14. In accordance with its statutory provisions, the CODEXTER elected Mr Andrea CANDRIAN (Switzerland) and Mr Vladimir ANDREYEV (Russian Federation) respectively as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee for one year. The CODEXTER also elected Ms Anniken ENERSEN (Norway) and Mr Aaron BUGEJA (Malta) as members of the Bureau for two years, as well as Mr Peter PEDAK (Estonia) for one year.
15. The CODEXTER also agreed to admit the Anti-Terrorism Centre of the Commonwealth of Independent States (ATC CIS) as observer for the duration of the Committee.
16. Before the closing of the meeting, the CODEXTER instructed its Secretariat to prepare, in agreement with the Bureau, the provisional draft agenda for its 18th meeting, to be held in Strasbourg on 7-8 April 2010.
Appendix – AGENDA
1. Opening of the meeting
2. Adoption of the draft agenda and approval of the report of the 16th meeting
3. Communication by the Secretariat
4. Decisions of the Committee of Ministers concerning the CODEXTER and terrorism-related issues
II. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONVENTIONS AGAINST TERRORISM
5. Follow-up of the effective use and implementation of the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No 196)
a. 1st Consultation of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No 196) and its follow-up
b. On-going activities of the CODEXTER related to the follow-up of the specific provisions of the Convention CETS No 196, in particular :
o Freedom of expression and “apologie du terrorisme”
o Second Thematic Review of the CODEXTER - Recruitment for terrorism
o Protection and compensation of victims of terrorism : exchange of best practices