The Global Center and the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) collaborated to organize an open briefing and a number of associated side events for the UN membership on the effective adjudication of terrorism cases. Marking the first time supreme court justices have addressed the UN membership on the topic of counterterrorism, the objective of the open briefing highlighted the special role of supreme court justices in strengthening states' capacities to bring terrorists to justice.

Represented during the open briefing were 3 chief justices (Bangladesh, Lebanon, and Tunisia); 7 sitting supreme court justice (United States, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka); 2 honorary justices who also head international organizations, the International Organization for Judicial Training and the AHJUCAF, known in French as the Association des hautes juridictions de cassation des pays ayant en partage l’usage du français; and a representative of the International Organization of the Francophonie.

The first panel highlighted the Global Center’s work with CTED in South Asia, which has been supported variously by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Norway, and the United States The panel included justices from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. As part of their work with judiciaries in South Asia, CTED and the Global Center have been working with judges from the region to formulate a toolkit to support the work of judges handling terrorism and other complex criminal cases. Two United States federal judges provided expert advice and assistance on the content of the toolkit. The law firm of Baker & McKenzie provided substantial pro bono assistance. The supreme court justices from the region affirmed the need to continue to support the judiciary in its efforts to respond to the growing number of terrorism cases being adjudicated.

The second panel featured the Chief Justices of Lebanon and Tunisia who, in 2015, hosted national study visits for a delegation of supreme court justices as part of a Global Center program with CTED on the role of senior judicial officials in leading a criminal justice response to terrorism in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The program provided a forum to enable the Justices of the participating Supreme Courts to reflect on the current state of terrorism-related case law in their respective jurisdictions and to discuss the many challenges involved in reconciling the requirements of national security cases with the need to ensure respect for rule-of-law and fair-trial principles.

The third panel featured international organizations and networks supporting the judiciaries including the International Organization for Judicial Training, the AHJUCAF and the International Organization of the Francophonie which the Global Center has had the pleasure to work with.

 

In connection with the open briefing, the Global Center and CTED hosted two side events:

The first, held in collaboration with New York University School of Law featured the Supreme Court justices from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and focused on their role in leading a criminal justice response to terrorism and upholding due process and fair trial standards in the courtroom. The discussion was introduced by U.S. Circuit Court Judge Allyson Duncan, 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and Chair of the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations. Federal district court judges Chief Judge John R. Tunheim of the District of Minnesota and Judge David O. Carter of the Central District of California, moderated the discussion along with Ms. Faye Ehrenstamm, Director of the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT); and Ms. Amy Chang Lee, Asia Regional Director of OPDAT.

The second side event was held at the International Organization of the Francophonie which featured Mr. Khaled Ayari, the Chief Justice of the Tunisian Court of Cassation, who discussed national judicial reforms.

For more information about the events, please contact Melissa Lefas at mlefas@globalcenter.org.

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