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- Model Law On Countering Terrorism and Extremism Through Information is the basis for effective fight against terrorism in the information space
Countering terrorism and extremism is one of the main tasks and one of the main reasons for the establishment of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Therefore, one of the key areas of activity of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization is, undoubtedly, legislative formalization of countering terrorism and extremism and harmonization of national legislation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Member States in this area. The CSTO PA model legislation proposes a comprehensive approach to counteracting terrorism and extremism. Today, we will review one of the areas of such counteraction: the information space.
Namely, we will review the CSTO PA Model Law On Countering Terrorism and Extremism Through Information developed by the National Security Institute of the Republic of Belarus.
This model law was necessary due to the CSTO Member States’ lack of systemic legal regulation of countering terrorism and extremism through information amidst terrorist and extremist organizations’ spreading information and propaganda through, among other means, the use of modern information and communication technologies; the growing role of information countermeasures against real and potential threats of terrorist and extremist nature in the context of further informatization of society and globalization of information processes; modern civilized society’s urgent need for effective legal mechanisms that determine the procedure for using information tools to prevent negative processes and promptly respond to the spread of terrorist and extremist ideas and materials.
The model law was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization at the 11th plenary meeting of the CSTO PA on October 30, 2018, exactly two years ago. Its goal is to define the CSTO Member States’ fundamental policy of counteraction of terrorism and extremism through information and to regulate general issues of organizational and legal support of this activity.
The law consists of 23 articles grouped into five chapters.
It primarily addresses the definition and legal basis of countering terrorism and extremism.
For instance, according to Article 1 of the model law, the Constitution, the present law and other normative legal acts of the state form the legal basis for countering terrorism and extremism through information.
Relations arising in the sphere of countering terrorism and extremism through information that affect the interests of other states or international organizations are regulated by relevant international treaties. If a state’s international treaty establishes rules other than those contained in the present law, the rules of the international treaty shall be applied.
Besides, the model law clearly defines the objectives and principles of countering terrorism and extremism through information, which, in accordance with Article 3 of the model law, is based on the principles of:
observance of fundamental human and civil rights and freedoms;
priority of terrorism and extremism prevention measures;
comprehensive use of measures of countering terrorism and extremism through information;
inevitability of punishment for terrorist and extremist activity;
inadmissibility of concessions to terrorists and extremists;
lawfulness of inflicting harm on terrorists and extremists;
international cooperation with other states and international organizations.
The model law details the purposes and tasks of countering terrorism and extremism through information, its types and main areas, mass media and private persons’ participation in it, various measures of countering terrorism and extremism through information; it stipulates state organizations and authorized bodies mandated to counter terrorism and extremism through information and bodies that legally supervise the implementation of this law; it regulates international cooperation in this matter.
Overall, developers of the model law believe that its implementation into the legislation of the Organization’s Member States can further protect interests of citizens, society and the state from terrorist and extremist threats in the information space, as well as to make the state policy in this area more targeted, which, in turn, will increase efficiency of its implementation.