Mission: The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) will provide rule of law-based training to lawmakers, police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials, and other justice sector stakeholders on how to address terrorism and related transnational criminal activities within a rule of law framework. More broadly, it will work to strengthen criminal justice systems and build regional judicial, police and other criminal justice practitioner networks to promote justice, security, and human rights. The IIJ will place a particular focus on countries seeking to develop rule of law-based approaches to addressing security challenges such as terrorism and other transnational criminal activities. Although the IIJ’s mandate will be global in nature, it will focus on countries in North, West, and East Africa, and the Middle East, paying particular attention to supporting countries in transition.
Background: At the June 2012 Ministerial meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), GCTF ministers and senior officials announced strong support for the establishment of the IIJ as a key platform to deliver innovative and sustainable training to implement the counterterrorism (CT)-related, rule of law-based good practices being developed by the GCTF and other international and regional fora. G8 leaders welcomed the IIJ in their statement at the June 2013 G8 Summit. Over the past year, a range of governments and international, regional, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been collaborating on developing the IIJ’s mandate, mission, structure, legal foundation, and curriculum.
Structure and Governance: The IIJ will be established as a domestic foundation in Malta, with an international governing board of administrators representing countries from different regions. For the initial period, the IIJ will be managed by an Interim Secretariat, which will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the IIJ during its initial phase and will manage the transition to the Executive Secretariat, which is expected to occur in early 2015. The Interim Secretariat will be comprised of a small number of officials (five-to-seven) drawn from the Government of Malta and international partners.
Location: The Government of Malta has offered a historic building to be used by the IIJ as its permanent home. The building will be refurbished to transform it into a modern training facility, which will also house the IIJ’s Executive Secretariat. In the meantime, the IIJ and its Interim Secretariat will be hosted within the University of Malta, Valletta Campus, which will facilitate the development of an enduring partnership between the new center and Malta’s oldest university.
Curriculum: The IIJ will offer courses and activities that are tailored for parliamentarians and other law-makers, investigators, prosecutors, judges, and corrections officials on topics that include:
- Legal frameworks: Criminalizing of terrorism and other transnational crimes (including criminalizing preparatory offenses; and the role that parliamentarians can, and should, play in providing oversight to the implementation of a rule of law-based CT legal regime.
- Investigations: Enhancing skills on subjects such as evidence gathering, investigations, and internationally-accepted interview techniques; undercover investigations; cyber terrorism; counterterrorism finance; border security; and the protection of law enforcement sensitive information.
- Police and Judicial Cooperation: Building networks at inter-agency, regional, and international levels.
- Role of the Judiciary: Practical support for presiding over terrorism and other national security cases within a rule of law framework.
- Pre-Trial Detention and Trials: Protecting the rights of the accused and the security of witnesses, prosecutors, and judges.
- Prison Management and Rehabilitation: Establishing rule of law-based prison rehabilitation and reintegration programs for violent extremists and managing prisons to reduce the risks of further inmate radicalization.
- Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom (KFR): Promoting the implementation of GCTF and other relevant good practices to allow for a more systematic and whole-of-government response to the threat posed by KFR in the terrorism context.
- Rule of Law Foundation: Building a foundational course through the introduction to the rule of law framework underpinning criminal justice-related counterterrorism issues by promoting a greater understanding of the concepts of human rights, justice, and the rule of law, and the necessary elements of effective criminal justice systems as fundamental components of counterterrorism initiatives.
Partnerships and Collaborations: The IIJ will build and leverage partnerships with existing international, regional, and national training centers and academies, universities, the United Nations and other multilateral organizations, and relevant non-governmental organizations. In this context, the IIJ will pay particular attention to building partnerships with judicial and other national training academies, which can eventually serve as platforms for delivery of IIJ-designed courses to national practitioners.
As the IIJ develops its own capacity to lead programs, the activities at the IIJ during its first 12 months will be implemented in cooperation with partner governments and other organizations (e.g., multilateral bodies, national training centers and academies, and non-government organizations). The IIJ’s Secretariat will develop and coordinate the schedule of such events, ensuring that their thematic and geographic focus is in line with the IIJ’s mandate and priorities.
Founding members and other partners include:
- The European Union
- The Global Center on Cooperative Security
- The Institute for Security Studies – Pretoria
- The International Centre on Counter Terrorism – The Hague
- The International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Science – Siracusa
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- United Nations
- United States
- The United States Institute of Peace
- The University of Malta