"The prevention and suppression of terrorism is indispensable to the maintenance of the democratic structure of member States” – Declaration on Terrorism adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 1978.

Our approach

The Council of Europe develops legal standards to prevent and suppress acts of terrorism through criminal law and other measures, while respecting human rights and in full respect of the rule of law, and is continuously working to improve international co-operation in bringing terrorists to justice.

The Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) follows the implementation of the Council of Europe legal instruments against terrorism and coordinates the Council of Europe activities in combating terrorism. For 2016-2017, CODEXTER established three priorities:

  • Terrorism and the Internet;
  • Links between terrorism and organised crime (to be addressed in cooperation with the CDPC);
  • Assessment of possible gaps in the legal framework provided by Council of Europe international legal instruments in the area of the prevention and suppression of terrorism, including with respect to International Humanitarian Law and terrorism and also in relation to the absence of a common definition of “terrorism” in International Law.

The Council of Europe has adopted an Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism to address the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, as well as an Action Plan on the fight against violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism. The Protocol was opened for signature on 22 October 2015 in Riga.

The Council of Europe is also currently developing research and practical work with regard to the topic of more efficiently combating transnational organised crime (see the White Paper on Transnational Organised Crime) and the common approach of fighting organised crime and terrorism (see Malaga Conference).

Counter-terrorism and human rights

Counter-terrorism and human rights in the case-law of the European Court of Human RightsCounter-terrorism and human rights in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights is a handbook on counter-terrorism with a special focus on due respect for human rights and rule of law. It compiles the doctrine laid down by the European Court of Human Rights in this field with a view to facilitating the task of adjudicators, legal officers, lawyers, international IGOs, NGOs, policy makers, researchers, victims and all those committed to fighting this scourge.

The book presents a careful analysis of this body of case law and the general principles applicable to the fight against terrorism resulting from each particular case. It also includes a compendium of the main cases dealt with by the Strasbourg Court in this field and will prove to be a most useful guiding tool in the sensitive area of counter-terrorism and human rights (See Online bookshop).


Useful links

Legal instruments



Previous meetings

 2nd Consultation of the Parties: 22 May 2017 - Decisions

32nd CODEXTER plenary meeting: 23-24 May 2017 - Abridged Report