The beginning of the twenty-first century has been blighted by a resurgence of terrorist attacks on a scale previously unimaginable. The rapid technological advances at the end of the twentieth century have improved our quality of life but sadly these can also be used to the advantage of criminal and terrorist organisations.
In order to combat terrorism and serious crime, law enforcement authorities have had to adapt their investigative means and develop special investigation techniques. These techniques are used to systematically gather information in such a way that they do not alert the person(s) investigated, for the purposes of detecting and investigating crimes and suspects.
Since there is a risk that they may infringe individual rights, special investigation techniques must be subject to control. This has been advocated by the European Court of Human Rights which "has already recognised the need, inherent in the Convention System, for a proper balance between the defence of the institutions of democracy in the common interest and the protection of individual rights".
This publication contains a survey of national practice in thirty-five Council of Europe member states as well as in Canada and the United States of America. It also includes an analytical report, which examines special investigation techniques in relation to law enforcement and prosecution, the control of their implementation, human rights and international co-operation in this field.
Part I: Analytical report
Chapter 1: Definition and typology of spécial investigation techniques
Chapter 2: Special investigation techniques, law enforcement and prosecution
Chapter 3: Special investigation techniques: controlling their implementation
Chapter 4: Special investigation techniques and respect of human rights
Chapter 5: Special investigation techniques in the framework of international co-operation
Chapter 6: Intelligence services and the use of special investigation techniques
Part II: Situation in member and Observer states of the Council of Europe
Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America
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