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Universal jurisdiction and international crimes: Constraints and best practices

17-09-2018

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal jurisdiction in the fight against impunity in Europe. The experts agreed that universal jurisdiction can play a role as part of a wider accountability strategy, complementary to international courts and prosecutions on other jurisdictional bases. They recommended more specialised training for investigators, prosecutors, judges and law enforcement staff for universal jurisdiction cases and more cooperation at EU and international level. Speakers supported the initiative for a multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition. Special attention in universal jurisdiction cases must be given to victims seeking justice, including for sexual and gender-based crimes.

Autore esterno

Julia KREBS, Cedric RYNGAERT, Florian JEßBERGER

Land Grabbing and Human Rights: The Involvement of European Corporate and Financial Entities in Land Grabbing outside the European Union

10-05-2016

In early research on land grabbing, the initial focus was on foreign companies investing abroad, with a particular focus on those based in countries such as China, Gulf States, South Korea, and India. In recent years, it has become evident that the range of countries land investors originate in is far broader, and includes both North Atlantic - and EU-based actors. In this study, we offer both quantitative and qualitative data illustrating the involvement of EU-based corporate and financial entities ...

In early research on land grabbing, the initial focus was on foreign companies investing abroad, with a particular focus on those based in countries such as China, Gulf States, South Korea, and India. In recent years, it has become evident that the range of countries land investors originate in is far broader, and includes both North Atlantic - and EU-based actors. In this study, we offer both quantitative and qualitative data illustrating the involvement of EU-based corporate and financial entities in land deals occurring outside of the EU. This study also analyses the global land rush within a human rights framework, examining the implications of particular land deals involving EU-based investors and their impact on communities living in areas where the investments are taking place. The research presented here builds partly on Cotula’s 2014 study on the drivers and human rights implications of land grabbing, but differs in that it focuses explicitly on particular cases of possible, actual or potential human rights abuses and violations, in the context of activities involving European corporate and financial entities. In our conclusions, we offer a series of recommendations on how the EU can more effectively address these issues.

Autore esterno

Saturnino M. BORRAS Jr. (International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands), Philip SEUFERT (FIAN International, Germany), Stephan BACKES (FIAN International, Belgium), Daniel FYFE (FIAN International, Switzerland), Roman HERRE (FIAN Germany, Germany), Laura MICHELE (FIAN International, Germany) and Elyse MILLS (International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands)

Foreign fighters – Member State responses and EU action

09-03-2016

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear 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, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, ...

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear 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, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, with the UN adopting a binding resolution in 2014 specifically addressing the issue of foreign fighters. The EU is actively engaged in international initiatives to counter the threat. Within the EU, security in general, and counter-terrorism in particular, have traditionally remained within the Member States' remit. The EU has, however, coordinated Member State activities regarding the prevention of radicalisation, the detection of travel for suspicious purposes, the criminal justice response, and cooperation with third countries. The EU is seeking to strengthen its role, given the public feeling of insecurity in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. The EU's role as a forum to discuss security issues has consequently grown during 2015. Individual Member States have stepped up their efforts to address the problem, using various 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 used to deal with foreign fighters. Since 9/11, the EU and the USA cooperate on counter-terrorism, despite differing philosophies on issues such as data protection. This briefing substantially updates an earlier one, PE 548.980, from February 2015.

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.

The Extraterritorial Effects of Legislation and Policies in the EU and US

16-05-2012

There is a general principle in international law that one state cannot take measures on the territory of another state by means of enforcement of national laws without the consent of the latter. It is possible – however – to observe a recent trend of a growing number of laws that aim to produce a legislative effect in third countries. The nature of the extraterritorial measures at stake and the interests involved have determined the intensity of protests against those measures, by businesses and ...

There is a general principle in international law that one state cannot take measures on the territory of another state by means of enforcement of national laws without the consent of the latter. It is possible – however – to observe a recent trend of a growing number of laws that aim to produce a legislative effect in third countries. The nature of the extraterritorial measures at stake and the interests involved have determined the intensity of protests against those measures, by businesses and legislators. This study explores the legal principles that sit behind extraterritoriality, and how such measures have come to be justified. It also examines how those enacting extraterritorial laws have sought to use mostly economic and diplomatic levers to seek compliance from third countries and entities registered in third countries. Finally, this study explores the impact extraterritoriality has had on the businesses and governments affected by it and outlines the defensive measures that can be taken to protect against the reach of such laws.

Autore esterno

DOVER Robert (Dover and Jones Ltd, UK) and FROSINI Justin (Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development, Italy)

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