In continuation of previous capacity building efforts and series of training activities for Ukrainian judges in the field of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), the Council of Europe’s Economic Crime and Cooperation Division (ECCD) recently conducted a specialised online training course for twenty-five local courts’ judges on “Countering Terrorist Financing: Judicial Aspects”, in cooperation with Ukraine’s National School of Judges.
In order to enhance participants’ understanding of the specificities of terrorist financing (TF) cases, the Council of Europe invited practitioners from the High Court of Ireland and the district court of Rotterdam (Netherlands) who shared their countries’ experience and practices in examining and adjudicating TF cases. In addition, a national perspective was provided by representatives of the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) and the Security Service of Ukraine, who also contributed to the training and shared their expertise in the matter. Involving these national agencies working on AML/CFT also provided an opportunity to enhance the Ukrainian judges’ understanding of their respective roles in the AML/CFT system, as well as promote inter-agency cooperation in countering terrorist financing.
Therefore, the trained judges increased therefore their knowledge on basic terrorist financing concepts, related international standards and their impact on national policy-making, as well as on Ukraine’s international commitments to countering terrorist financing. Emphasis was put on the national AML/CFT system and the particular role played by the Financial Investigation Unit. In addition, an outline of the process of detecting and investigating terrorist financing, complemented by a presentation of the national case law in this area, provided essential elements for an overall understanding of Ukraine’s current efforts in addressing terrorist financing. Due attention was also paid to important judicial aspects such as the standard of proof, evaluation of evidence and motivation of court decisions in terrorist financing cases.
The constructive discussions and active engagement of participants throughout the training reconfirmed the relevance and importance of the subject. Moreover, it clearly demonstrated the Ukrainian judges’ aspiration to further develop their knowledge and skills in the area of terrorist financing.
This activity was organised within the framework of the Project on “Strengthening measures to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism in Ukraine”, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II.