Action against Terrorism

Questions of identity documents which arise in connection with terrorism

One of the priorities of the GMT was the preparation of a report on whether legal or practical problems exist in the field of identity and identity documents in relation to terrorism, whether the Council of Europe could make a useful contribution, and, if so, how.

In September 2002, the Committee of Ministers adopted specific terms of reference for a Group of Specialists on Identity Documents and Terrorism (CJ-S-ID) under the authority of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ). The CJ-S-ID held two meetings (6-8 November 2002 and 26-28 February 2003) and adopted a report to the CDCJ on legal or practical problems in the field of identity and identity documents in the context of the fight against terrorism, including proposals on follow up.

In the light of the CJ-S-ID's report, the CDCJ proposed to the Committee of Ministers to grant new specific terms of reference for a Group of Specialists on Identity and Terrorism (CJ-S-IT), with the task of preparing provisions to be included in an international instrument to contribute to and strengthen the Council of Europe and its member states’ action against terrorism.

The CJ-S-IT held two meetings (17-19 December 2003 and 21-23 April 2004) and adopted a final report of activity, including a recommendation to adopt provisions concerning, in particular, identification by documents and scientific identification of individuals in a future Council of Europe instrument.

The CODEXTER - as the body co-ordinating the Council of Europe's action against terrorism – took note of this recommendation and, at its suggestion, the Committee of Ministers approved terms of reference for a Group of specialists on identity documents and terrorism (TER-S-IT) in November 2004. This group held one meeting in January 2005 and, under the authority of the CODEXTER, prepared a draft recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to the governments of member states.

Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member states

On 30 March 2005, at the 921st meeting of the Ministers' Deputies, the Committee of Ministers adopted: