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Ministerial and Other Meeetings

GROUPE D'EXPERTS A HAUT NIVEAU SUR LA CRIMINALITE TRANSNATIONALE ORGANISEE

SENIOR EXPERTS ON TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME


Paris, April 12, 1996

P8* - Senior Experts Group Recommendations

To combat Transnational Organized Crime efficiently
members recommend the following:

  1. States should review their laws governing criminal offences, jurisdiction, law enforcement powers and international cooperation, as well as their measures dealing with law enforcement training and crime prevention, to ensure that the special problems created by Transnational Organized Crime are effectively addressed.

  2. With the aim of improving mutual assistance, States should, as needed, develop mutual legal assistance arrangements or treaties, and exercise flexibility in the execution of requests for mutual assistance.

  3. States should, where feasible, render mutual assistance, notwithstanding the absence of dual criminality.

  4. States developing mutual assistance treaties should ensure that the treaties:
      a) provide a clear description of the scope of the assistance available,
      b) encourage a speedy process of assistance,
      c) are as comprehensive as possible in terms of types of assistance available and,
      d) reflect the principle that evidence will be gathered in the manner sought by the requesting states, unless the procedures are contrary to the fundamental principles of the law of the Requested State. To further facilitate cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime, States should consider negotiating arrangements in areas that are not covered by Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties.

  5. States should establish a Central Authority which would be structured to provide speedy coordination of requests. The Central Authority should provide a quality control and prioritizing function for both incoming and outgoing requests to take into account both the seriousness of the offence and the urgency of the request.

    At the same time, the Central Authority should not be seen as an exclusive channel for assistance between States. Direct exchange of information between law enforcement agencies should be encouraged to the extent permitted by domestic laws or arrangements.

  6. States should prepare and distribute to other States materials that would describe the channels of communication for mutual assistance and extradition and the process for obtaining such assistance from that State.

  7. In cases where a criminal activity occurs in several countries, States with jurisdiction should coordinate their prosecutions and the use of mutual assistance measures in a strategic manner so as to be more efficient in the fight against transnational criminal groups.

  8. States should be encouraged to develop, through treaties, arrangements and legislation, a network for extradition.

    States should modernise their extradition treaties by eliminating the lists of crimes and allowing for extradition of conduct punishable in both States by deprivation of liberty in excess of an agreed minimum period.

    States should make best efforts to ensure that their domestic arrangements for extradition are flexible enough to permit extradition to States of a different legal tradition. They should seek to identify and eliminate obstacles to extradition, including those that may arise from the differences between legal systems, by, for example, simplifying evidentiary and procedural requirements.

  9. States should ensure that their domestic arrangements for extradition are as effective and expeditious as possible.

    States should also consider the possibility of extradition without a treaty.

  10. If extradition of nationals is not permitted by the Requested State, and the extradition of one of its nationals is requested, the Requested State should:
    1. allow for conditional extradition on the condition that it is only for trial and that its national be promptly returned after trial to its territory for service of any sentence within the limits of the law of the Requested State, or
    2. allow for transfer/surrender, when it is permitted by domestic law, only for trail and on the condition that its national be promptly returned after trial to its territory for service of any sentence within the limits of the law of the Requested State, or
    3. apply the rule of "aut dedere, aut judicare" by, at the request of the Requesting State, submitting the case to its competent authorities in order that proceedings may be taken if they are considered appropriate.

    4. States should promote other techniques for mutual education that will facilitate mutual assistance and extradition, such as language training, secondments and exchanges between personnel in Central Authorities or between executing and requesting agencies.

      Training courses, joint seminars and information exchange sessions should be encouraged on a bilateral, regional and world wide basis.

    5. Consideration should also be given to posting in other States representatives of prosecuting agencies or of judicial authorities.

    6. States should provide effective protection for individuals who have given or agreed to give information or evidence, or who participate or who have agreed to participate in an investigation or prosecution of an offence, and of the relatives and associates of those individuals who require protection, because of risk to the security of the person.

    7. States should consider, as appropriate, reciprocal arrangements for the protection of witnesses and other endangered persons.

    8. States should consider adopting appropriate measures to ensure the protection of witnesses during criminal proceedings. These might include such methods as testifying by telecommunications or limiting the disclosure of the address and identifying particulars of witnesses. Consideration should be given to the temporary transfer as witnesses of persons in custody enlargement of the admissibility of written statements, and the use of modern technology, such as video links, to overcome some of the current difficulties with obtaining the testimony of witnesses located outside the prosecuting State.

    9. States should review their laws in order to ensure that abuses of modern technology that are deserving of criminal sanctions are criminalized and that problems with respect to jurisdiction, enforcement powers, investigation, training, crime prevention and international cooperation in respect of such abuses are effectively addressed. Liaison between law enforcement and prosecution personnel of different States should be improved, including the sharing of experience in addressing these problems. States should promote study in this area and negotiate arrangements and agreements to address the problem of technological crime and investigation.

    10. States should take all other lawful steps available under domestic legislation, to ensure that they do not provide safe havens for criminals.

    11. We commend the work does by Interpol and World Customs Organization calling upon these organizations to maintain and develop their support for operational activity, facilitating as rapid as possible as exchange of information between law enforcement agencies. We call upon them to focus on a strategic overview of the methods of, and trends in, Transnational Organized Crime for the benefit of all their member countries.

    12. In order to facilitate the work of law enforcement practitioners we will, on request, provide brief guides on our respective legal systems and on the mandates of relevant agencies.

    13. States should identify within their existing structures central contact points for the purpose of facilitating contact between their operational agencies. It may be useful to locate these points in liaison with the Interpol National Central Bureau.

    14. We stress the important contribution that liaison officers can make to the fight against Transnational Organized Crime. We encourage States to make the most effective use possible of their liaison officers in other countries and to consider additional postings. We stress the need for liaison officers to have access, in accordance with the law of the host country, to all agencies in that country with relevant responsibilities.

    15. We reiterate our condemnation of drug trafficking which is a major source of finance for Transnational Organized Criminal Groups. Therefore, we:
      • reaffirm the importance of the three United Nations Conventions (1961, 1971 and 1988) which are fundamental to action against illicit drugs,
        call on all States to adopt and fully implement legislation in accordance with those conventions,
      • believe in the value of giving the widest publicity to information issued by official international bodies, such as the International Narcotic Control Board, on illicit drug production, trafficking and the proceeds of the illicit drug trade.
      • will work in all relevant fora to prevent the diversion of chemical precursors used in illicit drug production and take necessary steps to implement fully all relevant international agreements,
      • welcome and support implementation of the recommendations of United Nations International Drug control Program working group on maritime cooperation.

    16. In order to ensure more effective transnational crime prevention, and foster public safety, we will develop strategies to identify and combat the illicit traffic in firearms.

      In furtherance of this goal, and in support of the specific recommendations contained in the May 1995 resolution from the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders and the July 1995 United Nationals Economic and Social Council resolution, we will, and encourage other States to, review existing firearms laws and regulations to facilitate discussion at an international level.

      We will promote information exchange among our relevant law enforcement authorities.

      We encourage States to enhance the exchange of information useful for law enforcement purposes (e.g., data for the identification of illicit firearms and specific information on tests conducted on firearms and ammunition which have been used in the course of criminal activities.).

    17. States should ensure that immigration services play their part in the fight against Transnational Organized Crime. We note the involvement of Transnational Organized Crime in alien smuggling and call upon all States to enact legislation to criminalize such smuggling of persons. Immigration services and other agencies should:
      • exchange information on the transnational movement of organized criminals,
      • have as full as possible an exchange of information on forged and stolen documents used by traffickers,
      • consider the most effective means for its communication.
      We will take necessary steps to improve the quality of our travel documents. We encourage other States to improve theirs and will assist them to do so.

    18. We support the exchange of law enforcement expertise regarding scientific and technological developments such as advances in forensic sciences.

    19. We emphasize the relevance and effectiveness of techniques such as electronic surveillance, undercover operations and controlled deliveries. We call upon States to review domestic arrangements for those techniques and to facilitate international cooperation in these fields, taking full account of human rights implications. We encourage States to exchange experiences of their use.

    20. We emphasize the importance of giving the fullest possible protection to sensitive information received from other countries.

      The competent authorities of different States, should advise each other as to the requirements regarding the disclosure of information in the course of judicial and administrative proceedings, and discuss in advance potential difficulties arising from those requirements.

      A transmitting State may make conditions for the protection of sensitive information before deciding whether to transmit it. A receiving State must abide by the conditions agreed with the transmitting State.

    21. Building on current cooperative arrangements, the different agencies in our countries will develop their work together in specific law enforcement projects targeted on Transnational Organized Crime. We have formulated practical guidance on project-based action and commend this approach to all States.

      Project-based action involves bilateral multilateral priority setting, targeting, resourcing and assessment of law enforcement operations drawing on the strength of the full range of competent agencies.

    22. We welcome the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering to resolve to extend criminalization of money laundering to other serious offences.

    23. States should consider adopting legislative measures for the confiscation or seizure of illicit proceeds from drug trafficking and other serious offences, asset forfeiture, as required, and the availability of provisional arrangements, such as the freezing or seizing of assets, always with due respect for the interest of bona fide third parties. States should also consider the introduction of arrangements for the equitable sharing of such forfeited assets.

    24. States should consider implementing measures to detect and monitor the physical transportation of cash and bearer negotiable instruments at the border, subject to strict safeguards to ensure proper use of information and without impeding in any way the freedom of legitimate capital movements.

    25. States should adopt the necessary legislative and regulatory measures to combat corruption, establish standards of good governance and legitimate commercial and financial conduct, and develop cooperation mechanisms to curb corrupt practices.

    26. We agree to share information on practical anti-money laundering techniques and to draw on the experience gained to adapt and improve national and international training activities in this area, in conjunction with the action of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.

    27. In order to improve understanding and information on the detection of financial networks linked to transnational organized crime ( in particular investments by Transnational Organized Crime), we encourage States to take measures to gather financial information and , as much as possible, facilitate the exchange of such information, including exchanges between law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies.

    28. We urge States to adhere to and fully implement existing relevant multilateral Conventions whose provisions effectively contribute to the fight against all forms of Transnational Organized Crime, in particular the Conventions concerning control of illicit drugs.

    29. We will keep under review the possibility of supplementing existing conventions and adopting new instruments, in response to developing needs in the fight against Transnational Organized Crime.

    30. We support and encourage the provision and reporting of clear and accessible information on adhesion to and implementation of the main conventions.

    31. In order to avoid wasteful duplication and to ensure that limited resources are used to best effect, we urge International Organisations to coordinate their work programmes and to concentrate their efforts within their areas of competence on activities of practical value to member States.

    32. We will work together in the governing bodies of International Organisations whenever possible, in order to give more coherent impetus and coordination to the fight against Transnational Organized Crime.

    33. We will seek to ensure that all International Organisations that play and effective role in the fight against Transnational Organized Crime have adequate resources to fulfill their mandate. We will also examine possibilities for providing appropriate financial resources for specific, practical and viable projects developed by competent International Organisations.


    Source: France, Ministère de l'Intérieur, 12 April 1996.

    * P8="Political 8" (G7 + Russia)

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