Annual Conferences

EU-Counter Terrorism Offences: What Impact on National Legislation and Case-Law?

This two-day conference is the first of two events planned in the framework of the ECLAN II project, financed by the European Commission (DG Justice) and the Ministry of Justice of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The purpose of this conference is to present and discuss the latest of counterterrorism policies at the EU level and evaluate their impact on the development of selected Member States‟ substantive criminal law and case law. Particular reference is made to the Framework Decisions of 2002 and 2008 and the introduction of an EU definition of terrorism and the three new offences of provocation, training and recruiting for terrorism purposes. Governments have often claimed that modern international terrorism cannot be handled adequately within the ordinary criminal justice system. Consequently criminal law had to be adapted to fight terrorism more effectively, which includes the criminalization of certain "abstract danger", preparatory activities such as terrorist training, membership in a terrorist organization etc.

National legislation has evolved against the background of international and European instruments. The EU Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism identifies a number of acts (such as physical attacks, kidnapping, seizure of aircraft, manufacture or possession of weapons or explosives, etc.) that must be qualified as terrorism where committed with a specific purpose. The EU Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA has also had a major impact on courts‟ decisions, legislators‟ choices and on the academic debate. This instrument then became the inspiration for national legislation. The EU Framework Decision 2008/919/JHA amends the latter and introduces the offences of „public provocation to commit a terrorist offence‟, "training for terrorism‟ and „recruitment for terrorism‟, as demanded by the earlier Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (2005). On the first day, following an introductory overview of the European Framework Decisions, experts from the selected Member States will illustrate their national legislation and relevant case-law. They will thus analyze the impact that the new definition and offences have in real cases, whether causing problems or generating added value to investigations and prosecutions. On the second day, representatives of ECLAN, EUROPOL and national prosecutors will firstly assess the advantages and shortcomings of the new provisions for the purpose of European cooperation, such as joint investigations. Secondly, session 3 will place the current changes in the broader picture of developments in criminal justice in Western Europe in recent years: in particular the shift toward prevention and the development of special techniques of investigation, which has substantially expanded in the context of contemporary counter-terrorism frameworks. 

The results of this conference  were published by ECLAN under the tittle: "EU Counter-terrorism offences: What impact on national legislation and case-law?"