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Past event

High Level Panel: The Use of International Terrorist Watch Lists


On the 31st August, ICCT hosted a High Level Panel on the use of international terrorist watch lists.

UNSCR 2396: The Use of International Terrorist Watch Lists

Friday 31 August, 15:30 - 17:30

 T.M.C. Asser Instituut, R.L. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22, The Hague

With growing international movements and networks of terrorists, governments are now required by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2396 (2017) to develop watch lists or databases of known and suspected terrorists, to screen travellers and conduct risk assessments and investigations. This includes the collection of biometric data such as finger prints and photographs in order to identify alleged terrorists and foreign fighters.

On the one hand, it is held that pro-active collecting and sharing of information through these watch lists could constitute necessary pieces of larger puzzles that intelligence agencies seek to prevent terrorist attacks. On the other hand, there are risks that these databases may be misused for targeting of dissenters instead of suspected terrorists, and that incomplete or incredible information may lead to government action that is not justified.

Many prominent human rights and criminal justice experts critically received Resolution 2396, and earlier Resolution 2178 (2014) on foreign terrorist fighters. Critiques focused both on the content of the decisions contained in these resolutions, and more broadly on the way and extent to which the UN Security Council adopted legislative powers, requiring states to implement laws within their national jurisdictions.

This High Level Panel organised by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT) brought together four experts to discuss the practical and human rights implications of the requirements contained in these resolutions, as well as known cases related to international criminal justice cooperation, watch lists, and the collection and sharing of information.


15:00 – 15:30: Doors open, coffee and tea served

15:30 – 15:40:  Welcome by Prof. dr. Edwin Bakker  Research Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague (ICCT); Leiden University; Head of Knowledge and Research at the Netherlands Police Academy.

15:40 – 15:55:  Setting the scene

15:55 – 16:10:  Judge Kimberly Prost Former Chef de Cabinet at the International Criminal Court and former Ombudsperson of the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the United Nations Security Council. 

16:10 – 16:25:  Mr. Olivier Burgersdijk  Programme Manager Travel Intelligence at Europol and former head of Strategy and Outreach at Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). 

16:25 – 16:40:  Prof. dr. Marieke de Goede University of Amsterdam.

16:40 – 17:30:  Q&A session

17:30 – 19:00:  Drinks reception


If you would like to attend this event, you can RSVP by sending a message to by mentioning your full name and organisational affiliation. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #HLP2018