Civil society oversight of law enforcement action in cyberspace – Pre 07 2023

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19 June 2023 | 14:00 - 15:30 EEST | Auditorium A1 | Video recording
Consolidated programme 2023 overview / Pre 7

Session teaser

Maintaining a fair balance between protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy and data protection, while effectively addressing cybercrimes through the use of electronic evidence, is one of the major challenges of our data-driven societies. This session will discuss the role that civil society actors and state agencies play in actions against cybercrime.

Session description

As societies rely increasingly on the use of information technology, the rise of cybercrime and the subsequent need to handle electronic evidence can pose challenges for criminal justice authorities and the rule of law. While it is necessary to effectively combat criminal offences by facilitating their detection, investigation and prosecution, it is equally important to avoid illegal interference with human rights and freedoms - most importantly, the right to private and family life, home and correspondence.

Article 15 of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention) seeks to ensure the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms by mandating that each party to the Convention establishes in its domestic law the application of certain conditions and safeguards, in relation to the procedural powers used for cybercrime investigations. Therefore, one of the major issues that underpins the implementation of Article 15 in States Parties to the Convention, as well as the overall efficiency of cybercrime investigations is the level of trust, accountability and transparency that state action against cybercrime enjoys with the general public and private sector.

The joint European Union and Council of Europe CyberEast project, together with its partner CyberSecurity EAST project, have conducted an analysis of these matters through in-depth public opinion surveys, which were completed at the beginning of 2022, in the Eastern Partnership states (The Cyber Barometer Studies). The Studies identified a number of issues and topics that require further discussions with the participation of the civil society to improve trust, accountability and transparency of the action against cybercrime. The project also provided recommendations regarding the implementation of effective oversight mechanisms.

This session on civil society oversight on criminal justice action in cyberspace aims to facilitate meaningful exchanges of ideas and best practices of applying Budapest Convention Article 15 safeguards supported by Eastern Partnership Cyber Barometer findings, and will look into trust and co-operation between the general public and criminal justice on cybercrime, including civil society engagement and oversight over law enforcement action on cybercrime.


In-person attendance as well as hybrid format via Zoom.


Mon 19/06/23, 14:00 - 15:30

Speakers: Markko Kunnapu, Ministry of Justice, Estonia Marko Juric, Zagreb University, Croatia Franziska Klopfer, DCAF

Online/Zoom: Giorgi Jokhadze (CyberEast project, Cybercrime Programme Office, Council of Europe)

Secretariat: Alexandra Slave / Narmina Mamishova (CyberEast project, Cybercrime Programme Office, Council of Europe)

Introduction and objective of the session (Secretariat) (2 min)

Safeguards and guarantees for action on cybercrime: civil society involvement (25 min)

  • Budapest Convention Article 15: possibilities for civic engagement in protection of rights and safeguards (Marko Juric) (5 min)
  • Discussion (20 min)

Cyber Barometer Reports: reporting, trust, oversight (25 min)

  • Results of Cyber Barometer Reports 2022 in the Eastern Partnership countries: where joint action is needed (Markko Kunnapu) (5 min)
  • Discussion (20 min)

Challenges of effective oversight: role of civil society (30 min)

  • Civil society as contributor to effective oversight on cybersecurity (Franziska Klopfer) (5 min)
  • Discussion (25 min)

Conclusions (10 min)

Further reading


  • Marko Jurić, Council of Europe International Expert
  • Markko Kunnapu, Council of Europe International Expert
  • Franziska Klopfer, DCAF

The Subject Matter Experts (SME) support the programme planning process throughout the year and work closely with the Secretariat. They give advice on the topics that correspond to their expertise, cluster the proposals and assist session organisers in their work. They also ensure that session principles are followed and monitor the complete programme to avoid repetition.

Organising Team (Org Team)

  • Giorgi Jokhadze, Council of Europe
  • Alexandra Slave, Council of Europe
  • Narmina Mamishova, Council of Europe

Key Participants

The session is open to anyone interested on matters of cybersecurity and cybercrime, law enforcement trust and accountability in cyberspace, and civil society role in ensure effective oversight. The following participants will be engaged by the CyberEast project:

  • Cybercrime investigators/detectives;
  • Cybercrime prosecutors or policy makers;
  • Representatives of civil society organisations active on cybercrime, cybersecurity and Internet governance as well as effective oversight of criminal justice action.

Video record