Council of Europe Conferences of Ministers of Justice

21st Conference of European Ministers of Justice

10-11 June 1997, Prague (Czech Republic)

Resolution No 1 on the links between corruption and organised crime

1. The Ministers participating in the 21st Conference of European Ministers of Justice (Prague, 1997);
2. Having examined the report submitted by the Czech Minister of Justice on the links between corruption and organised crime  and  the co-report of the Hungarian Minister of Justice;
3. Concerned about the new trends in modern criminality and, in particular, by the organised, sophisticated and transnational character of certain criminal activities;
4. Persuaded therefore that the fight against organised crime necessarily implies an adequate response to corruption;
5. Emphasising that corruption represents a major threat to the Rule of Law, democracy, human rights, fairness and social justice, hinders economic development, and endangers the stability of democratic institutions and the moral foundations of society;
6. Convinced that a successful strategy to combat corruption and organised crime requires a firm commitment by States to join their efforts,  share experience and take common action;
7. Recognising that raising public awareness and promoting ethical values, in particular through education, are effective means of preventing corruption and organised crime;
8. Welcoming the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in November 1996, of the Programme of Action against Corruption, following the recommendations of the 19th Conference of European Ministers of Justice (Valletta, 1994)
9. Recalling in this respect the importance of the participation of non-member States in the Council of Europe's activities against corruption and organised crime and welcoming their valuable contribution to the implementation of the Programme of Action against Corruption;
10. Bearing in mind that the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe will be addressing the issue of organised crime and corruption, insofar as they constitute a threat to democratic stability and security in Europe, at their Second Summit to be held in Strasbourg, on 10 and 11 October 1997;
RECOMMEND THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS TO:
1. Call for a speedy ratification, by the States which have not yet done so, of the European conventions on international co-operation in criminal matters and, in particular, of the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (ETS 141);
2. Review and update the Council of Europe's instruments in the field of international co-operation in criminal matters, in order to take due account of the new demands to combat organised crime and corruption;
3. Strengthen the action of the Council of Europe against corruption and organised crime, taking into account the work already accomplished and under way in other international fora, in particular European Union, United Nations and OECD, and promoting the coordination of this action with these Organisations.
4. Support the work undertaken by the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) and the Multidisciplinary Group on Corruption (GMC) aiming at the elaboration of international instruments against corruption;
5. Support the work undertaken by the CDPC relating to:
- the legal and criminological aspects of organised crime with a view to facilitating the approximation of corresponding national qualifications in criminal law, the divergence of which greatly hampers international co-operation, and
- computer and cyber-crime, with a view to facilitating the approximation of corresponding national qualifications in criminal law and to providing for efficient means of investigation of offences committed through the use of modern information technology;
6. Provide, jointly with the European Community, for the continuation and further development of the “Octopus” Programme, by adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the co-operation and expertise needed by States in transition, in order to strengthen their legislation, law enforcement practices and institutions of democratic society; 
7.     Implement as soon as possible the programme of evaluation of anti-money laundering measures in member States of the Council of Europe which are not covered by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) procedures;
8. Speed up the implementation of the Programme of Action against Corruption.
9. With this in mind, intensify the efforts with a view to an early adoption of:
- a framework agreement defining common principles in the fight against corruption to be implemented through national legislation and complemented, where appropriate, by additional international instruments and structures,  
- a criminal law convention providing for the coordinated criminalisation of corruption offences and for enhanced cooperation in the prosecution of such offences;
10. Pursue the work concerning the preparation of an international civil law instrument - dealing, inter alia, with compensation for damage resulting from corruption - as well as the preparation of a model code of conduct for public officials.
11. Ensure that the relevant international instruments to be prepared provide for an effective follow-up mechanism open to member States and non-member States of the Council of Europe on an equal footing;
12. Consider, in the framework of the preparation of the Second Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the Council of Europe, to be held in Strasbourg on 10 and 11 October 1997, the best means of  promoting a dynamic process towards effectively preventing and combating organised crime and corruption.