A series of three online regional workshops were conducted by the Council of Europe, focusing on Establishment and functioning of the 24/7 Points of Contact Network under the Budapest Convention. The events were held on 28, 29 and 30 July 2020, being respectively addressed to Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas regions.
Organized within the framework of the GLACY+, a joint project of the EU and the Council of Europe, the initiative aimed to provide an overview of the current functioning of the 24/7 Network and discuss challenges identified by Parties to the Budapest Convention, with inputs coming also from Observer States.
The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, through its Article 35, provides for a Network of 24/7 contact points tasked with handling requests for expedited international cooperation on cybercrime and electronic evidence among the Parties.
The Network aims to be an active channel of cooperation between countries and, especially in view of its expanding membership, needs to ensure mechanisms to develop and strengthen trust among its members. In this regard, annual meetings of the representatives of 24/7 points of contact have been conducted regularly starting in 2017.
The online workshops were dedicated to designated 24/7 points of contact and other staff (from the prosecution service, police, Ministry of Justice) currently dealing with international cooperation on cybercrime.
Discussions during the workshops were anticipated by a questionnaire that was filled in beforehand by member and observer countries, and helped to provide an overview on the current status of the national framework in place, responsibilities, communication tools, use of the T-CY templates for preservation and MLA requests as well as statistics available for requests handled through the Network.
The outcomes of these meetings will help to frame further activities in the project to facilitate the integration of the new members of the Network and enhance the international cooperation.