In May 2022, with support from the Government of Denmark, the IIJ convened its first in-person course under the innovative Counter-Terrorism Academic Curriculum (CTAC) since its creation in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The pilot CTAC course brought together 20 Francophone investigators, examining judges and prosecutors from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal in France for a two-week immersive, foundational course aimed at strengthening practitioners’ core skills on conducting investigations and prosecutions of terrorist crimes through:
- Increased awareness of proportionate, reasonable and justifiable methods to investigate terrorism, in compliance with human rights, including special investigation techniques;
- Improved drafting and advocacy skills to accurately communicate facts and legal arguments;
- Implementation of efficient case management procedures to reduce trial delays;
- Enhanced knowledge of international good practices for the effective investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases; and
- Strengthening international networks and international cooperation to improve evidence collection, mutual legal assistance and the extradition of offenders.
The CTAC uses interactive pedagogical methods through which the participants are required to solve problems and challenges which arise during the investigation of a hypothetical cross-border terrorism case. The process of active problem solving, immediately after reading substantive legal materials and international good practices, reinforces the relevant skills and good practices presented in the course materials. The problem-solving exercises allow participants to deepen their fundamental knowledge and facilitates the use and implementation of these new skills during their work in their national jurisdictions.
In their feedback, practitioners described the CTAC as both practical and relevant. “We learned a lot” reported Ms. Hadiza Malam Manzo, a prosecutor from Niger, when asked for her feedback on the course. “First, we are becoming real specialists in the fight against terrorism. This is very important. We can deal with any situation that may arise wherever we work. Then, this face-to-face training allowed us to find people whose voices and faces we had only seen online. I was particularly impressed by the harmony that prevailed within the groups. We felt like old friends who had known each other for a long time and the IIJ did everything to maintain this cohesion and our commitment through the exercises and discussions.”
This first CTAC course welcomed practitioners who had previously worked together during IIJ eCTAC iterations on proactive investigations to consolidate the very dynamic network of our frontline practitioners.
For more information on the CTAC, please contact Programme Manager Dallin Van Leuven.