This conference report produced by the TNTD/Action againt Terrorism Unit, includes some background information, summary of discussions, as well as the list of challenges and recommendations.
TNTD/ATU, with the substantive support of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) and the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC/TPB), and in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Prosecutor-General of Lithuania, organized a Regional Conference on Building Effective Central Authorities for International Judicial Co-operation in Terrorism Cases. The event took place in Vilnius 25-27 November 2015.
The objective of the conference was to provide a platform for national officials involved in the processing of extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLA) requests in terrorism cases to explore the rationale for designing an effective central authority, identify the related challenges and good practices and explore ways to enhance the effectiveness of existing central authorities. The conference was also intended to facilitate regional and international networking inside and outside the region.
Some 50 legal, judicial and law enforcement officials from 15 OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, and experts from five international and regional organizations participated in the event.
The conference addressed issues relating to international co-operation in terrorism-related cases in Armenia, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine. Experts from Belgium, Israel and Switzerland also shared their national experiences. Representatives of the Committee of Experts on the Operation of European Conventions on Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PC- OC) of the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) also participated in the discussions. The Prosecutor-General of Lithuania delivered opening remarks and the Deputy Minister of Justice of Lithuania delivered the closing remarks. Discussions were led by experts from the OSCE Transnational Threats Department/Action against Terrorism Unit, UNODC/TPB, CTED and the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania.
The discussions focused on the functioning of the central authorities of the participating States, good practices, and challenges in processing requests for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLA) and extradition in terrorism-related cases. CTED also drew special attention to the importance of international judicial co-operation in tackling the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), as highlighted by Security Council resolution 2178 (2014).
A number of challenges were identified and recommendations were suggested.