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V. Recommendations

To the EU Council and EU Presidency

  • Continue to promote member states’ cooperation in criminal matters, and extend the mandate of existing cooperation mechanisms such as Europol to include international crimes.
  • Ensure that the EU Network meets regularly and has sufficient resources to function as a forum for law enforcement professionals to exchange information and experiences about ongoing cases. Consider nominating a Network coordinator responsible for strategic planning and the organization of Network meetings.
  • Strengthen cooperation between the EU Network and other EU institutions and bodies (for example, EC delegations in third countries, EU police missions, rule of law missions and peace building missions) in order to facilitate extraterritorial investigations into international crimes.

To EU Member States and other National Governments

  • Ensure domestic implementation of international crimes, as defined in treaties to which the state is a party, and ensure that statutes of limitations do not apply to international crimes.
  • Consider the creation of adequately resourced and staffed “specialized units” within police and prosecutorial authorities, with principal responsibility for investigating and prosecuting universal jurisdiction cases.
  • Promote cooperation between immigration authorities and police and prosecutorial authorities in order to ensure that suspected perpetrators of international crimes who are visa or refugee applicants are referred to the appropriate law enforcement authority.
  • Commit to appointing contact points in charge of international crimes in accordance with article 1 of the Council Decision establishing the EU Network. Ensure that the meetings of the EU Network are attended by contact points and that information is shared with relevant institutions involved in the investigation and prosecution of international crimes.
  • Cooperate with Interpol in the creation of a database on past and current investigations of international crimes in different countries.
  • Ensure adequate measures for the protection of witnesses, both foreign and national, in universal jurisdiction cases.  Protection should include, where appropriate, the possibility of relocating (within the country of nationality or another country) seriously at-risk witnesses.
  • Do not extend immunities to persons who no longer have official duties entitling them to immunity, or whose duties are not closely analogous to those of a head of state/government or foreign minister.
  • Do not remove the right of victims to pursue private prosecutions, where such a right already exists in domestic law. Concerns about vexatious prosecutions can be addressed through less drastic measures, such as strengthening judicial control of the process.
  • Enhance transparency in prosecutorial decision-making concerning international crimes through publication of applicable guidelines and judicial review.
  • Do not apply amnesties for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or torture.

<<previous  |  index  |  next>>June 2006