The Department of State will host the inaugural meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)’s Criminal Justice/Rule of Law Working Group on November 3-4, 2011. Co-chaired by the United States and Egypt, this is one of five expert-led working groups of the GCTF, a new multilateral counterterrorism forum with 30 founding members (29 countries plus the EU) from around the world, which was launched on September 22, 2011.
Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver opening remarks at this meeting, where senior counterterrorism prosecutors and other criminal justice officials from GCTF members will begin to develop a compendium of sound practices for effective counterterrorism practices in the criminal justice system. This is part of the broader GCTF effort to provide support for countries seeking to turn their backs on repressive approaches to counterterrorism and to encourage criminal justice authorities to adopt robust and human rights-compliant counterterrorism policies and practices that protect both the security and liberty of their citizens.
Once this compilation of good practices is finalized, the group will turn its attention to providing or facilitating the training, advising, and supporting other technical assistance to promote their implementation in interested countries, including those in the midst of the Arab Spring.
The GCTF is a major initiative within the Administration's broader effort to build the international architecture for dealing with 21st century terrorism. It provides a unique platform for senior counterterrorism policymakers and experts from around the world to work together to identify urgent needs, devise solutions, and mobilize resources for addressing key counterterrorism challenges. With its primary focus on capacity building in relevant areas, the GCTF aims to increase the number of countries capable of dealing with the terrorist threats within their borders and regions.