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CIA renditions and secret detention programme

02-06-2016

The CIA's extraordinary rendition and secret detention programme has again come under the scrutiny of the European Parliament, which will ask the Commission and the Council during the June plenary about the measures taken to implement Parliament's recommendations on the matter.

The CIA's extraordinary rendition and secret detention programme has again come under the scrutiny of the European Parliament, which will ask the Commission and the Council during the June plenary about the measures taken to implement Parliament's recommendations on the matter.

A Quest for Accountability? EU and Member State Inquiries into the CIA Rendition and Secret Detention Programme

15-09-2015

At the request of the LIBE Committee, this study assesses the extent to which EU Member States have delivered accountability for their complicity in the US CIA-led extraordinary rendition and secret detention programme and its serious human rights violations. It offers a scoreboard of political inquiries and judicial investigations in supranational and national arenas in relation to Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom. The study takes as a starting point two recent and far-reaching ...

At the request of the LIBE Committee, this study assesses the extent to which EU Member States have delivered accountability for their complicity in the US CIA-led extraordinary rendition and secret detention programme and its serious human rights violations. It offers a scoreboard of political inquiries and judicial investigations in supranational and national arenas in relation to Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom. The study takes as a starting point two recent and far-reaching developments in delivering accountability and establishing the truth: the publication of the executive summary of the US Senate Intelligence Committee (Feinstein) Report and new European Court of Human Rights judgments regarding EU Member States’ complicity with the CIA. The study identifies significant obstacles to further accountability in the five EU Member States under investigation: notably the lack of independent and effective official investigations and the use of the ‘state secrets doctrine’ to prevent disclosure of the facts, evade responsibility and hinder redress to the victims. The study puts forward a set of policy recommendations for the European Parliament to address these obstacles to effective accountability.

Externí autor

Didier Bigo (King’s College, London, the UK ; Science Po, Paris, France ; Centre for Study of Conflicts, Liberty and Security), Sergio Carrera (Centre for European Policy Studies - CEPS ; University of Maastricht, the Netherlands), Elspeth Guild (Centre for European Policy Studies - CEPS ; Radboud University Nijmegen and Queen Mary, University of London, the UK) and Raluca Radescu (Centre for European Policy Studies - CEPS)

US policy to bring terrorists to justice

30-06-2015

US counter-terrorism strategy continues to be at the centre of public attention, with the recent drone strike, killing Yemeni al Quaeda leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi on 16 June 2015. The US government relies on a wide range of tools, inter alia intelligence, law enforcement and foreign policy. US measures to bring terrorists to justice are still being debated and slowly redefined, primarily through court rulings assessing their compatibility with US constitutional law. The United States' criminal law ...

US counter-terrorism strategy continues to be at the centre of public attention, with the recent drone strike, killing Yemeni al Quaeda leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi on 16 June 2015. The US government relies on a wide range of tools, inter alia intelligence, law enforcement and foreign policy. US measures to bring terrorists to justice are still being debated and slowly redefined, primarily through court rulings assessing their compatibility with US constitutional law. The United States' criminal law has been broadened in scope, with wide extraterritorial application allowing prosecution of terrorists of other nationalities committing crimes outside the US. Certain measures taken in parallel to the domestic criminal procedure, such as the institution of ad hoc military commissions and the retention of prisoners in Guantanamo, have been challenged in the courts. The counter-terrorism strategy relies on surveillance machinery involving various actors at the federal and state level, whose task is to identify suspects and gather evidence. The use of technology has created new opportunities for security controls but has also shown how difficult it is to strike a balance between the protection of rights, such as the right to privacy, and these new surveillance methods. The debates on the NSA surveillance programme and the court cases on the No Fly List are but examples of a broader debate on the human rights limits of some security measures taken to fight terrorism. The US deems its collaboration with international actors and the EU in this domain as essential, not least because the functioning of its surveillance apparatus depends in part on information gathered abroad. However, concerns persist over the eventual implications for constitutional rights and freedoms that the US model entails, and these have become one of the major sources of opposition to the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership with the US. A new act has been introduced in the US Senate proposing the extension of redress rights under the Privacy Act to major US allies.

'Foreign fighters' - Member States' responses and EU action in an international context

05-02-2015

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue and terrorism activities worldwide seem to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, which explains the wide perception of these individuals as a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. The problem has been addressed within international fora including the United Nations ...

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue and terrorism activities worldwide seem to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, which explains the wide perception of these individuals as a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. The problem has been addressed within international fora including the United Nations, which in 2014 adopted a binding resolution specifically addressing the issue of foreign fighters. The EU is actively engaged in relevant international initiatives. Within the EU, security in general and counter-terrorism in particular have traditionally remained in the Member States' remit. The EU has however coordinated Member States' activities regarding the prevention of radicalisation, the detection of suspicious travel, criminal justice response and cooperation with third countries. The EU is seeking to strengthen its role given the widely shared feeling of insecurity in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. Existing and new paths for EU action are being explored, including the revived EU passenger name records (PNR) proposal. Individual Member States have stepped up their efforts to address the problem using various kinds of tools including criminal law, administrative measures and 'soft tools', such as counter-radicalisation campaigns. The Member States most affected have also cooperated with each other outside the EU framework. The United States has a particularly developed counter-terrorism framework now being used to deal with foreign fighters. Since 9/11, the EU and the US have cooperated on counter-terrorism despite different philosophies on issues such as data protection.

National Security and Secret Evidence in Legislation and before the Courts: Exploring the Challenges

10-12-2014

At the request of the LIBE committee, this study provides a comparative analysis of the national legal regimes and practices governing the use of intelligence information as evidence in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It explores notably how national security can be invoked to determine the classification of information and evidence as 'state secrets' in court proceedings and whether such laws and practices are fundamental rights- and rule of law-compliant ...

At the request of the LIBE committee, this study provides a comparative analysis of the national legal regimes and practices governing the use of intelligence information as evidence in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It explores notably how national security can be invoked to determine the classification of information and evidence as 'state secrets' in court proceedings and whether such laws and practices are fundamental rights- and rule of law-compliant. The study finds that, in the majority of Member States under investigation, the judiciary is significantly hindered in effectively adjudicating justice and guaranteeing the rights of the defence in ‘national security’ cases. The research also illustrates that the very term ‘national security’ is nebulously defined across the Member States analysed, with no national definition meeting legal certainty and “in accordance with the law” standards and a clear risk that the executive and secret services may act arbitrarily. The study argues that national and transnational intelligence community practices and cooperation need to be subject to more independent and effective judicial accountability and be brought into line with EU 'rule of law' standards.

Externí autor

Didier Bigo (Centre d’Etudes sur les Conflits, Liberté et Sécurité - CCLS ; Sciences-Po Paris ; King’s College London), Sergio Carrera (Centre for European Policy Studies, CEPS), Nicholas Hernanz (CEPS) and Amandine Scherrer (CCLS) ; Contributions in the Country Fiches by: Mar Jimeno Bulnes (University of Burgos, Spain), Emmy Eklundh (University of Manchester, United Kingdom), Roseline Letteron (Université Paris-Sorbonne, France), Nikolaus Marsch (University of Freiburg in Breisgau, Germany), Daniel Squires (Matrix Chambers, London, United Kingdom), Arianna Vedaschi (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy), Gabriele Marino (University of Exeter, United Kingdom) and Anja Wiesbrock (University of Oslo, Norway)

National Programme for Mass Surveillance of Personal Data in EU Member States and their Compatibility with EU Law

15-10-2013

In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes, this study makes an assessment of the large-scale surveillance practices by a selection of EU member states: the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Given the large-scale nature of surveillance practices at stake, which represent a reconfiguration of traditional intelligence gathering, the study contends that an analysis of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to a question of balance ...

In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes, this study makes an assessment of the large-scale surveillance practices by a selection of EU member states: the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Given the large-scale nature of surveillance practices at stake, which represent a reconfiguration of traditional intelligence gathering, the study contends that an analysis of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to a question of balance between data protection versus national security, but has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy. It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations. The study argues that these surveillance programmes do not stand outside the realm of EU intervention but can be engaged from an EU law perspective via (i) an understanding of national security in a democratic rule of law framework where fundamental human rights standards and judicial oversight constitute key standards; (ii) the risks presented to the internal security of the Union as a whole as well as the privacy of EU citizens as data owners, and (iii) the potential spillover into the activities and responsibilities of EU agencies. The study then presents a set of policy recommendations to the European Parliament.

Externí autor

Didier Bigo (Centre d’Etudes sur les Conflits, Liberté et Sécurité - CCLS , Sciences-Po Paris, France , King’s College, London, the UK) , Sergio Carrera (Centre for European Policy Studies - CEPS) , Nicholas Hernanz (CEPS) , Julien Jeandesboz (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; CCLS) , Joanna Parkin (CEPS) , Francesco Ragazzi (Leiden University) and Amandine Scherrer (CCLS)

Impact of surveillance programmes on EU citizen's rights to privacy

27-06-2013

On 6 June 2013, articles in the Guardian and Washington Post based on information from former US National Security Agency employee Ed­ward Snowden stoked up the debate on inter­net data surveillance. Further allegations that US and UK intelligence agencies had accessed and stored large quantities of data followed.

On 6 June 2013, articles in the Guardian and Washington Post based on information from former US National Security Agency employee Ed­ward Snowden stoked up the debate on inter­net data surveillance. Further allegations that US and UK intelligence agencies had accessed and stored large quantities of data followed.

Creating Accountability? Recent Developments in the US's Policy on Drones

28-03-2013

In recent weeks, the debate on the US use of drones in its counter-terrorism operations has intensified. The confirmation of John O. Brennan as the director of CIA — and the much-reported filibuster that interrupted his hearing and focused attention on the issue of drones — has led to a push for political and legal accountability. A recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals has supported the endeavour, and the US administration has invited the Congress to develop a legal framework for drone strikes ...

In recent weeks, the debate on the US use of drones in its counter-terrorism operations has intensified. The confirmation of John O. Brennan as the director of CIA — and the much-reported filibuster that interrupted his hearing and focused attention on the issue of drones — has led to a push for political and legal accountability. A recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals has supported the endeavour, and the US administration has invited the Congress to develop a legal framework for drone strikes. In parallel, the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights, Ben Emmerson, has investigated the issue, consulting stakeholders and undertaking study trips, most recently to Pakistan. These combined efforts may lead to a deeper global debate about new, rapidly developing arms, tactics and technologies. The EU should engage more actively in the discussion, which bears direct implications for the Union's security as well as its stance on issues of human rights. The EU can help forge a global consensus about this form of modern warfare, responding to — but also anticipating — its risks and challenges.

The Results of Inquiries into the CIA's Programme of Extraordinary Rendition and Secret Prisons in European States in Light of the New Legal Framework Following the Lisbon Treaty

15-05-2012

This note provides an assessment of the ‘state of play’ of European countries’ inquiries into the CIA’s programme of extraordinary renditions and secret detentions in light of the new legal framework and fundamental rights architecture that has emerged since the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force. It identifies a number of ‘EU law angles’ that indicate a high degree of proximity between the consequences of human rights violations arising from the alleged transportation and unlawful detention of ...

This note provides an assessment of the ‘state of play’ of European countries’ inquiries into the CIA’s programme of extraordinary renditions and secret detentions in light of the new legal framework and fundamental rights architecture that has emerged since the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force. It identifies a number of ‘EU law angles’ that indicate a high degree of proximity between the consequences of human rights violations arising from the alleged transportation and unlawful detention of prisoners and EU law, competences and actions – which challenge the competence of EU institutions and/or their obligation to act. The note presents a scoreboard and a detailed survey of the results, progress and main accountability obstacles of political, judicial and ombudsmen inquiries in twelve European countries. It argues that in addition to the various accountability challenges, the uneven progress and differentiated degrees of scrutiny, independence and transparency that affect national inquiries compromise the general principles of mutual trust, loyal cooperation and fundamental rights that substantiate the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) and in particular, those policies that are rooted in the principle of mutual recognition. Finally, the note uses the findings to formulate a number of policy proposals for the European Parliament.

Externí autor

Sergio Carrera (CEPS), Elspeth Guild (CEPS), João Soares da Silva (CEPS) and Anja Wiesbrock (University of Maastricht)

Extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects : the EU Member States' alleged assistance to the CIA

18-01-2012

Following 9/11, the Bush Administration established an ""extraordinary rendition"" system, whereby terrorism suspects were transferred, secretly detained and interrogated outside the US. There has been growing evidence of EU Member States' (MS) collaboration with the US, allegedly including stopovers by US aircraft at European airports and the setting up of secret detention sites in three MS. This would arguably amount to serious violations of international human rights law. The European Parliament ...

Following 9/11, the Bush Administration established an ""extraordinary rendition"" system, whereby terrorism suspects were transferred, secretly detained and interrogated outside the US. There has been growing evidence of EU Member States' (MS) collaboration with the US, allegedly including stopovers by US aircraft at European airports and the setting up of secret detention sites in three MS. This would arguably amount to serious violations of international human rights law. The European Parliament and the Council of Europe (CoE) have investigated those allegations and initiated judicial and parliamentary investigations in individual MS. However, the investigators' work was hindered by the refusal of both the US and European governments to disclose information, in most cases on grounds of ""state secrecy"". No criminal proceedings against agents involved in extraordinary rendition could be initiated in the US. Those in the EU have not led to the extradition of American agents. Amongst the EU institutions, the European Parliament has been the major proponent of holding MS accountable for their participation in irregular rendition. It severely criticised the Council and MS governments for not doing enough to shed light on the actions of their secret services.

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