Table of Contents
The following Recommendations are the result of a review of the G8 Recommendations to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, adopted in Lyon in 1996. The review was conducted by the G8 Senior Experts Group on Transnational Organized Crime (the Lyon Group), and was coordinated by the Italian and Canadian Presidencies.
The following Recommendations comprise standards, principles, best practices, actions and relationships that the G8 view as providing improvements to the mechanisms, procedures and networks that exist to protect our societies from transnational crime and terrorist threats. They are intended as commitments by the G8, and we commend these as inspiration to all States.
States should ensure that their strategies for dealing with transnational crime and terrorism recognize their dynamic nature and are sufficiently flexible and innovative to respond to the constantly changing challenges they pose.
States should regularly 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 and terrorism are effectively addressed. Details should be shared with the relevant agencies within the G8 and wider international community. Where obstacles are identified, States should seek ways to eliminate or reduce these obstacles, particularly with respect to extradition and mutual legal assistance.
States should seek to secure adequate resources to implement effectively all the measures described in these Recommendations. States should also seek ways to ensure the development of institutional expertise and continuity among personnel charged with combating transnational organized crime and terrorism.
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 and terrorism, in particular the conventions concerning the control of illicit drugs, prevention and suppression of terrorist acts and their financing. We further encourage States to assess the implementation of such multilateral conventions.
We urge all States to promptly ratify and implement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and urge all States to complete their internal processes to sign and ratify the Protocols thereto, as well as to mobilize and carefully target resources to fight organized crime through the assistance mechanisms foreseen by the Convention.
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 and terrorism.
We support and encourage the provision and reporting of clear and accessible information on adherence to and implementation of the main conventions, particularly those that deal with transnational organized crime and terrorism.
In order to avoid wasteful duplication and to ensure that limited resources are used to best effect, we urge International Organizations to coordinate their work programmes and to concentrate their efforts within their areas of competence on activities of practical value to member States.
We will work together in the governing bodies of International Organizations whenever possible, in order to give more coherent impetus and coordination to the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism.
We will seek to ensure that all International Organizations that play a significant role in the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism have adequate resources to fulfil their mandate. We will also examine possibilities for providing appropriate financial resources for specific, practical and viable projects developed by competent International Organizations, and will work together to ensure proper coordination and consistency in these efforts.
States should promote 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 worldwide basis.
We stress the important contribution that law enforcement liaison officers can make to the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism. We encourage States to make the most effective use possible of their liaison officers (both those they have sent to other countries and those whom they host) and to consider additional postings. We stress the need for liaison officers to have access, in accordance with the laws of the host State, to all agencies in that State with relevant responsibilities.
We underscore the important role of liaison magistrates or equivalent officials in effectively improving legal cooperation. Active consideration should be given to posting such representatives in other States.
In order to facilitate the effective law enforcement practice, we will, on request, provide brief guides on our respective legal systems and on the mandates of relevant agencies.
With the aim of improving mutual assistance, States should, as needed, develop new mutual legal assistance arrangements or treaties, ratify and promptly implement existing ones, and exercise flexibility in the execution of requests for mutual legal assistance, with a predisposition in favour of such cooperation. At the same time, the direct exchange of information between law enforcement agencies should be encouraged and strengthened to the greatest extent possible.
States should establish or maintain 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 the exclusive channel for assistance between States. To the extent permitted by domestic laws or arrangements, the direct exchange of information and cooperation between law enforcement agencies should be encouraged, notably by designating contact points to facilitate cooperation. Meetings between Central Authorities, on both a bilateral and multilateral basis, should be encouraged to streamline practices, taking into account the guidelines developed by the G8 in the field of mutual legal assistance.
States should, where feasible, render mutual assistance, notwithstanding the absence of dual criminality.
States developing mutual legal 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, giving special priority in urgent cases;
c) are as comprehensive as possible, in terms of the 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 the extent permitted by domestic law, States should provide information in their possession that is useful to another State’s investigation, even if a request for mutual legal assistance has not been received. To further facilitate cooperation against transnational organized crime and terrorism, States should consider negotiating arrangements in the areas that are not covered by mutual legal assistance treaties.
States should ensure their ability to provide broad mutual legal assistance in respect of production of bank records. Mutual legal assistance should not be refused on the grounds of bank secrecy or that the request involves a fiscal offence.
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. Handbooks for use by all States should contain useful information on the different legal systems and cooperation and be widely circulated to practitioners. Such material, which should be regularly updated, should be maintained in an electronic format such that it can be readily accessible to other States.
When law enforcement authorities become aware in the course of an investigation, prosecution or other judicial proceeding, that the criminal activity involved extends to other jurisdictions, they should communicate with the appropriate competent authorities in those other jurisdictions as soon as possible, with a view to coordinating efforts to effectively, efficiently and strategically investigate and prosecute those involved. States may establish joint investigative bodies through bilateral and multilateral agreements, and in the absence of such agreements, joint investigations may be undertaken on a case-by-case basis.
We note that most criminal enterprises involve the movement of contraband, proceeds, information and persons across international borders. We call upon States to encourage customs, police and immigration authorities to work together, both domestically and internationally. Specifically, customs authorities and other agencies should:
a) exchange information on smuggling techniques and trends, transportation routes, detection methods and the movement of organized crime members;
b) exchange information on interdiction best practices; and,
c) share training resources, risk management experience, border management practices and secure data communications capabilities.
States should identify within their existing structures central contact points for the purpose of facilitating contacts between their operational agencies and should regularly review and update lists of contact points. If necessary, States may wish to consider locating these points in liaison with the Interpol National Central Bureau.
We note the work done by Interpol, Europol and World Customs Organization, calling upon these organizations to maintain and develop their support for operational activity together with other relevant law enforcement organizations, facilitating as rapidly as possible, an 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 and terrorism for the benefit of all their members. States should work with and support International Organizations in their roles in fighting transnational organized crime and terrorism for the benefit of all their membership countries.
States should take all possible steps to ensure that they do not provide safe havens for criminals. States should be encouraged to develop, through treaties, arrangements and legislation, a network for extradition. States should modernize their extradition treaties by eliminating the list of crimes and allowing for extradition for 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 legal 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 might arise from the differences between legal systems, by, for example, simplifying evidentiary and procedural requirements.
Whenever possible, fugitives sought for serious crimes should be tried in the State in which the crime was committed, irrespective of their nationality. In those circumstances where the fugitive cannot be returned, such as where the extradition of nationals is not permitted by the Requested State, and the extradition of one of its nationals is requested, the Requested State should take one of the following actions:
a) allow for conditional extradition or transfer/surrender 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
b) apply the rule of “aut dedere aut judicare”, at the request of the Requesting State and in conformity with the guidelines developed by the G8, by submitting the case to its competent authorities in order that proceedings may be taken if they are considered appropriate.
States should use available legal bases to ensure that fugitives sought for serious crimes are apprehended and brought to justice. States should ensure that their domestic arrangements for extradition are as effective and expeditious as possible. States should also consider the possibility of providing extradition of fugitives for serious criminal offences, even if there is no treaty in force.
We support the exchange of law enforcement expertise regarding scientific and technological developments such as advances in forensic sciences. In particular, we encourage States to continue finding ways to identify more precisely those involved in crime, such as through the establishment of domestic and international DNA databases for law enforcement purposes, consistent with civil liberties and individual privacy.
We emphasize the relevance and effectiveness of special investigative techniques such as electronic or other forms of surveillance technology, undercover operations and controlled deliveries. We call upon States to review domestic arrangements for those techniques, also ensuring any necessary anonymity of undercover agents, and to conclude, when necessary, appropriate bilateral and multilateral agreements or arrangements for using the special investigative techniques in the context of cooperation at the international level, taking full account of human rights implications. In the absence of such agreements, States may decide to use such special investigative techniques on a case-by-case basis. We encourage States to exchange experiences of their use.
We emphasize the importance of giving the fullest possible protection to sensitive information received from other States. 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.
Building on current cooperative arrangements, different agencies in our countries will develop their work together in specific law enforcement projects targeted on transnational organized crime and terrorism. 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 assessing law enforcement operations which should draw on the strength of the full range of competent agencies.
States should provide effective protection and, as appropriate, support 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 a transnational criminal offence, and for the relatives and associates of those individuals who require protection, because of risk to the security of the person.
States should consider, as appropriate, reciprocal arrangements for the protection of witnesses and other endangered persons.
States should consider adopting appropriate procedural 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 in accordance with the guidelines developed by the G8.
States should also consider adopting appropriate measures to ensure the protection of participants in addition to witnesses in the criminal justice system, including judges, jury members, and prosecutors.
States should consider providing for the possibility of mitigating punishment for an accused person who provides substantial cooperation in the investigation or prosecution of transnational crime.
We reiterate our condemnation of drug trafficking which is a source of finance for transnational organized criminal and terrorist groups. Therefore, we:
reaffirm the importance of the three United Nations Conventions (1961, 1971 and 1988) as well as of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which are all fundamental to action against illicit drugs, and the results of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly devoted to the World Drug Problem held in June, 1998;
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 the United Nations International Drug Control Programme working group on maritime cooperation;
will work towards the implementation of the measures agreed to in the political declaration and the action plans adopted at the United Nations Special Session and will strive to meet the targets those agreements set, especially the Action Plans against the production and trafficking of amphetamine-type stimulants, the control of precursor chemicals, the promotion of judicial cooperation and the countering of money laundering; and,
reaffirm the conclusion of the Special Session that the problem of illicit drugs must be dealt with through a balanced approach incorporating demand reduction in a comprehensive strategy.
We commit ourselves and urge other States to support the efforts of major donors to the United Nations Drug Control Programme to coordinate counter-narcotics assistance in combating the drug trade.
We encourage States to complete their internal processes for determining whether to sign and ratify the United Nations Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition, of the Transnational Organized Crime Convention.
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, explosives and destructive devices. We encourage other States to review existing firearms laws and regulations to ensure proper marking, and licensing or authorization of import and export of firearms, as well as appropriate measures to prevent illicit trafficking, and regulation of brokers of firearms. 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 illicitly trafficked firearms which have been used in crimes).
We note the involvement of transnational organized crime in human smuggling and trafficking and call upon all States to enact measures to combat these crimes and to cooperate fully at all levels. We support the signing, ratification, and implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its two protocols against the smuggling and trafficking of human beings as one of the means to accomplish this objective.
We encourage States to criminalize migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. We call upon States to improve their border controls and travel and identity documents. Member States are encouraged to assist other States to improve their documents to comply with the standards and recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and to develop means to identify, seize and return to the issuing State, where appropriate, documents that are fraudulent or have been fraudulently used.
Law enforcement agencies, immigration services, passport issuing authorities and related agencies should cooperate against smugglers and traffickers, especially in the exchange of information on the transnational movement of organized criminals and other measures States may lawfully employ to apprehend smugglers and traffickers, to deny entry to criminals and the use of their territories for criminal activities, the establishment of mechanisms and agreements to affect this information exchange, and in criminal investigations. States should also ensure that these capabilities are effective in deterring and detecting movements of terrorists.
Computers and computer networks have increasingly become both the objects of terrorist and other criminal attacks, and the conduit through which terrorists and other criminals communicate in order to plan and carry out their destructive activities. Because many computer networks transcend international borders, it is essential that all countries have adequate substantive and procedural laws, and that they cooperate successfully to investigate, so as to prevent and punish terrorist and other criminal activities perpetuated with the aid of computers and computer networks.
States should review their laws in order to ensure that abuses of modern technology that are deserving of criminal sanctions are adequately 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.
In undertaking this review, States should take into account and be guided by the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime (2001), the work of various International Organizations, and the work of the G8, including:
Principles and Action Plan on High-Tech and Computer-Related Crime (1997);
States are encouraged to continue to work toward international solutions, including international agreements, to address high-tech crime.
We intend, and urge other States if entitled, to become Parties to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime (2001) and to ensure the full implementation of its terms as soon as possible, as it provides key measures to combat attacks on computer systems and measures providing for gathering electronic evidence of terrorism and other crimes. Other States should either seek to accede to the Convention or, at a minimum, ensure the availability of a legal framework approximating the measures called for in the Convention.
States should take steps to prevent and deter high-tech crime, including:
cooperating with private industry in an endeavor to ensure that computer networks and communication systems are secure, and that adequate response mechanisms exist when those systems are attacked;
enacting and implementing laws and other measures to ensure that intellectual property rights are appropriately protected against counterfeiting and piracy;
identifying and minimizing potential problems posed by future developments in technology; and,
raising public awareness with respect to high-tech crime issues.
States should support the acquisition of appropriate technologies and the continued development of their investigative and prosecutorial expertise and abilities, in order to pursue criminals who use computer technology to perpetrate their crimes. States should promote research and further examination of effective law enforcement techniques.
Liaison between law enforcement and prosecution personnel of different States should be improved, including the sharing of experience in addressing these problems. We commit ourselves to increasing the effectiveness of, and recruiting other States for participation in, the 24-Hour Contacts for International High-Tech Crime.
Domestically and in providing international cooperation, States should maintain an appropriate balance between protecting the right to privacy, particularly given the threat of new technologies, and maintaining law enforcement’s capacities to protect public safety and other social values. In striking this balance, States should also consider the interests of the private sector.
We encourage States to enact laws and implement measures to provide effective protection to children from all forms of sexual exploitation on the Internet. Particularly, States should ensure criminalization and effective investigative and cooperative capability in relation to Internet child pornography, in accordance with their obligations under relevant international instruments such as the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. States should also consider establishing strategies to tackle the “luring” of children over the Internet for the purpose of committing a sexual offence against them.
We further encourage States to explore means of expanding their information gathering and sharing capacities within and between G8 and other States in order to identify and locate victims, and to apprehend and prosecute criminals who sexually exploit children on the Internet, particularly by such mechanisms as child pornography databases (including an international database), and “cyber tip-lines” to which citizens can report incidences of sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. Such mechanisms should give due regard to the protection of privacy.
States should cooperate in the development of other practical tools, resources, techniques and training to help law enforcement prevent and combat the online sexual exploitation of children. States should also work with Internet service providers and non-governmental organisations to develop ways by which such organisations can assist law enforcement in their fight against the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet.
To raise awareness of the G8’s commitment and ongoing efforts to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet, States are encouraged to cooperate in the development of appropriate strategies to raise public awareness of these issues.
States should implement effectively the 40 Recommendations on money laundering and the 8 Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). States should also share information on money laundering techniques and investigative methods and draw on their collective experience to enhance national and international training activities, including the provision of technical assistance to help other countries adopt FATF standards.
States should implement appropriate measures to detect and monitor movements across their borders of cash, appropriate negotiable instruments, and other appropriate transmissions of value, subject to strict safeguards to ensure proper use of information and without impeding in any way the freedom of legitimate capital movements. In this regard, States should consider subjecting cross-border physical transfers, above a given threshold, to verification, administrative monitoring, declaration or record keeping requirements.
States should consider adopting effective legislative measures for: the confiscation or seizure of illicit proceeds from, and instrumentalities of, drug trafficking, terrorism, and other serious offences; asset forfeiture, as required; and the availability of expeditious 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, as set forth in the guidelines developed by the G8.
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) and terrorism, we encourage States to take measures to gather financial information and, as much as possible, facilitate the exchange of such information, and exchanges between law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies, in particular for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting criminal offenses.
States should encourage the adequacy of a domestic legal, operational and international cooperation framework to effectively combat transnational fraud and other economic crimes.
The G8 has launched various projects designed to, inter alia, develop best practices to combat specific forms of transnational economic crimes. The G8 will continue to carry out efforts in this regard, taking due regard to the work of other international and regional entities, including the Financial Action Task Force, Council of Europe, European Union, and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with a view towards developing best practices in responding to emerging forms of transnational crime.
States should cooperate towards the successful negotiation of a United Nations Convention against Corruption.
States should adopt effective legislative and regulatory measures to combat corruption, establish standards of good governance, promote legitimate commercial and financial conduct, and develop cooperation mechanisms to curb corrupt practices. To that end, States should also take into account international instruments, such as the OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and other relevant recommendations adopted by the OECD. States should implement such measures and support the assessment of their implementation, where applicable, by relevant international evaluation mechanisms. States should encourage relevant business associations and other sectors of society to adopt voluntary codes of conduct to counter corrupt practices.
States should recognize the serious threats posed by environmental crimes. States should review their domestic legislation and enforcement policies, with a view to strengthening them where necessary.
States should provide effective international cooperation to combat these crimes.
The G8 will conduct an urgent review of the manner in which terrorist organizations support their activities through the commission of other crimes (including, but not limited to, illegal drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition and explosives, and organized illegal migration) and, as required, develop strategies designed to disrupt and disable such activities.
All States should increase their understanding of, and accordingly, strengthen their response to, the interaction between international terrorism and organized criminal activities, in particular, money laundering, illegal drug trafficking, use of illegal migration networks and illegal trafficking in firearms.