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International review of criminal policy - Nos. 43 and 44/Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders

D. Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders

16. Following the Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, which took place in 1985, the Secretary-General prepared a report entitled "Proposals for concerted international action against forms of crime identified in the Milan Plan of Action" (E/AC.57/1988/16). Computer crime was discussed in paragraphs 42-44 of that report. 17. In preparation for the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, the Asia and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting indicated concern with the effects of technological progress, as reflected in computer crimes (A/CONF.144)RPM.2).

18. At the 12th plenary meeting of the Eighth Congress, which took place in 1990, the representative of Canada introduced a draft resolution on computer-related crimes on behalf of the 21 sponsors. At its 13th plenary meeting, the Congress adopted the resolution, in which it, inter alia, called upon Member States to intensify their efforts to combat computer crime by considering, if necessary, the following measures:

1. "Modernization of national criminal laws and procedures, including measures to:
* Ensure that existing offences and laws concerning investigative powers and admissibility of evidence in judicial proceedings adequately apply and, if necessary, make appropriate changes;
* In the absence of laws that adequately apply, create offences and investigative and evidentiary procedures, where necessary, to deal with this novel and sophisticated form of criminal activity;
* Provide for the forfeiture or restitution of illegally acquired assets resulting from the commission of computer-related crimes;
2. Improvement of computer security and prevention measures, taking into account the problems related to the protection of privacy, the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and any regulatory mechanisms pertaining to computer usage;
3. Adoption of measures to sensitize the public, the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to the problem and the importance of preventing computer-related crimes;
4. Adoption of adequate training measures for judges, officials and agencies responsible for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of economic and computer-related crimes;
5. Elaboration, in collaboration with interested organizations, of rules of ethics in the use of computers and the teaching of these rules as part of the curriculum and training in informatics;
6. Adoption of policies for the victims of computer-related crimes which are consistent with the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, including the restitution of illegally obtained assets, and measures to encourage victims to report such crimes to the appropriate authorities."

19. In its resolution, the Eighth Congress also recommended that the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control should promote international efforts in the development and dissemination of a comprehensive framework of guidelines and standards that would assist Member States in dealing with computer-related crime and that it should initiate and develop further research and analysis in order to find new ways in which Member States may deal with the problem of computer-related crime in the future. It also recommended that these issues should be considered by an ad hoc meeting of experts and requested the Secretary-General to consider the publication of a technical publication on the prevention and prosecution of computer-related crime.

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