The beginning of the twenty-first century has seen a resurgence of terrorist attacks on a scale previously unimaginable. In response, the Council of Europe has examined key areas in which it could contribute to the international community’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and identified the protection of witnesses and collaborators of justice as one of its priorities.
In order to combat terrorism, states often rely on the testimony of people who are closely connected to terrorist groups and who are more vulnerable than others to the use of intimidation against them or against people close to them. This may endanger the success of prosecutions often based on long and complicated investigations. Strengthening international co-operation in this field is also a useful means to ensure the protection of those persons whose protection would prove difficult on a merely national basis, given the conditions in the country where they are located.
The Council of Europe has extensive experience in this area, based on existing European conventions and other standards.
This publication contains the recently adopted standards in this field as well as a survey of national laws and practice in Council of Europe member and observer states together with an analytical report.
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