29 Mar 2023

GPD provides input ahead of the fifth session of the AHC

GPD has inputted to the second part of the consolidated negotiated document of a possible UN convention on cybercrime.

The proposed convention is being negotiated at the UN Third Committee’s Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime (AHC), which has met for four substantive sessions. The fourth session—which took place in January—discussed the text of the chapters on criminalisation, procedural measures and law enforcement, and the general provisions. The fifth session—taking place from 11-21 April—will focus on a different set of chapters, with discussion of the preamble, the provisions on international cooperation, preventive measures, technical assistance and the mechanism of implementation and the final provisions.

In our input, we provide recommendations on how to modify elements of the document to mitigate risks to human rights and to ensure the convention is consistent with states’ obligations to respect, protect and promote human rights.

Specifically, we recommend that the text should:

  • Better reflect the importance of human rights and emphasises the importance of multistakeholder cooperation;
  • Emphasise that international cooperation is based on dual criminality—the requirement that the alleged conduct is a crime in both countries—provides more detailed information on applicable conditions and safeguards for human rights, and clarifies or removes certain elements;
  • Update the language of specific provisions in the chapters on technical assistance, preventive measures, mechanisms for implementation and the final provisions to mitigate risks to human rights and to safeguard human rights and multistakeholder participation.

A note on the process: negotiations at the fourth and fifth session will both feed into the development of a “zero” draft, which will be published ahead of the sixth session in August. As we described in our analysis of the fourth session, much is left to negotiate ahead of the “zero” draft, but, as of yet, there are no formal opportunities for civil society to input in the intersessional period. This is concerning, given the “zero” draft is a fairly advanced stage of the treaty and negotiations over its contents will be even more politicised.

We will continue to advocate for a treaty that respects, protects and promotes human rights, and for an open, inclusive and transparent process.

We will be providing on the ground updates and analysis on the progress of the fifth session  on Twitter as well as a more substantial update following the session. Our commentary and analysis of the fourth session is available here.