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Updated HELP online course on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters now available on the HELP e-learning platform

An updated version of the Council of Europe (CoE) HELP course on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters is now available on the HELP e-learning platform.

In a rapidly changing world under the challenges of globalisation and new technologies; to combat transnational crimes such as organised crime, corruption and terrorism and national crimes, mechanisms and instruments of international cooperation in criminal matters are of paramount importance. Trying to provide their citizens with safety and security, it is vital for states to enhance their capacity to deal promptly and efficiently with international cooperation requests based on a range of treaties in European and International Law.

The HELP online course on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters explores fundamental principles of international judicial cooperation and a range of legal frameworks and legal instruments for cooperation – applied under a general consideration for human rights issues. It covers extensively both the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) frameworks, along with case-law examples from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).

The course consists of an introductory module, as well as 5 specific modules addressing the main aspects related to international cooperation in criminal matters.


  • How does international cooperation work?
  • Legal framework for cooperation
  • Key concepts and principles

Extradition and Surrender

  • Legal framework
  • How do extradition and surrender work
  • Challenges
  • Toolbox

Mutual Legal Assistance

  • Legal instruments
  • Joint investigation teams
  • Human Rights and MLA
  • Transfer of Sentenced Persons
  • Legal framework
  • How does transfer work in practice
  • Toolbox

Transfer of Proceedings, International Validity of Criminal Judgments and Supervision of Offenders

  • Transfer of proceedings
  • International validity of criminal judgments
  • Supervision of offenders
  • Human Rights considerations

Seizure and Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime

  • Legal framework
  • How does asset recovery work?
  • Toolbox

The course was initially developed in 2017. It was updated in 2021 under the EU-CoE “HELP in the EU II” project to contain the most recent developments. The update process was coordinated by the HELP Secretariat and involved several representatives of relevant CoE services: Mutual Legal Assistance Unit; Penological Co-operation, Medicrime and Trafficking of Organs Unit; and Criminal Law Cooperation Unit, as well as from the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights.

The course is freely available in self-learning format on the CoE HELP e-learning platform. The overall length of the online course is approximatively eleven hours and those who complete it online can obtain an electronic ‘Statement of accomplishment’.

The updated version of the course will also be translated into several languages and launched in tutored format in collaboration with interested HELP national partners (National Training Institutions and Bar Associations), under the EU-CoE Radicalisation Prevention, Judicial Response to Terrorism and International Cooperation in Criminal Matters project.