The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a consultation session on Thursday 16 April 2015 with legal experts, representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in The Netherlands and Spain, on Romania's initiative to create an International Court to combat terrorism and to adjudicate on the crime of terrorism, an initiative proposed for reflection by Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu within the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 9 February 2015.
The discussions that took place today attended by experts are initiating a comprehensive consultation process to develop a detailed concept to establish and operate a future International Court for the crime of terrorism. This process of reflection is aimed to involve as many countries in different regions of the world as possible, given the growing interest of the international community in firmly preventing and combating the phenomenon of terrorism.
Romanian, Dutch and Spanish expert consultations are taking place as a result of the recent political dialogue between Minister Bogdan Aurescu and his Dutch and Spanish counterparts on the prevention of and fight against terrorism, including through the creation of a judicial forum to this end. This topic was included on the agenda of talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands Bert Koenders, in the context of his visit to Bucharest on 28 March 2015.
Moreover, the Romanian initiative was included on the agenda of bilateral talks with the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs' Spanish counterpart on the side of the recent EU level meetings, including at the recent EU Ministerial Conference with partner countries in the Southern Neighborhood (Barcelona, 13 April 2015). The initiative was also discussed with Minister Bogdan Aurescu's Tunisian counterpart at the international solidarity march against terrorism in Tunis, on 29 March 2015, with the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs on the side of the Ministerial Conference in Barcelona, and also with other counterparts. During this latter event where the Romanian Minister presented the concept, the initiative was received with interest by participants representing various geographical areas, including the Middle East.
Recently, amid the increasing number of terrorist attacks, their ever widening scope and the diversification of attack methods, one may notice an increase in the international community's efforts to combat terrorism as effectively as possible, including through all international legal instruments available.
Romania's concern to incriminate terrorism as an international crime dates back in the interwar period, one of Romania's initiatives having been promoted before the Society of Nations in 1926, regarding the possibility to draw up a Convention on the universal incrimination of terrorism, but the League did not adopt this initiative.
During 1935-1937, the prominent Romanian lawyer and diplomat Vespasian Pella represented Romania at an expert committee formed by the Society of Nations to draft an "International Convention on the reprisal of conspiracies or crimes committed to a political and terrorist end". This amounted to the adoption of two Conventions in 1937, mainly due to Vespasian Pella's efforts: the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism, which provided a definition of the crime of terrorism and through which states undertook to incriminate terrorist acts, and the Convention on the Creation of an International Criminal Court, which would provide the mechanism for punishing the crimes included in the first Convention. In the context of the developments that led to the outbreak of the Second World War, the two Conventions did not enter into effect.