This week, 27 participants involved in the fight against terrorism took part in the first module of the Advanced Counter-Terrorism Programme ("PACT") devised by the ENM. This third group will be taking five themed modules over a year, on this enhanced training cycle created in 2018.

A training cycle specialised in counter-terrorism

The PACT advanced counter-terrorism programme was run for the first time in 2018 and is part of the government's counter-terrorism plan. "The course was devised by the School and is centred on the following areas: social and geopolitical contextualisation of terrorism, mastery of new technologies and international mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. We want to give those involved in the fight against terrorism the most effective tools possible," explains Élodie Malassis, head of in-service training at the ENM.

Training judicial professionals specialised in the fight against terrorism

Specialists already involved in the fight against terrorism

This course is intended for professionals already working in the counter-terrorism field, who usually come to the ENM to share their knowledge with non-specialised audiences.

This third year consists of 27 participants including "14 judges and prosecutors working in specialist terrorism courts, 1 specialist assistant, 4 members of the armed forces working in counter-terrorism, 5 investigators from specialist departments of the police and gendarmerie, 1 member of the counter-terrorism bureau of the Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardon at the Ministry of Justice, 1 member of the Prisons Directorate and 1 judge who is a member of the French office of the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST),, details Carole Ramet, in-service training coordinator at the ENM.

If training an audience who are already experts in the field represents a considerable challenge, "the multi-disciplinary background of the participants and the structuring of the cycle into modules have been designed to facilitate decompartmentalisation and inter-professional exchanges, as well as to foster mutual enrichment," says Élodie Malassis. "Many different themes are addressed and in particular the state of the terrorist threat worldwide, intelligence and cyberterrorism," she adds. The innovative aspect of this cycle lies precisely in that decompartmentalisation between the professions and institutions on the question of the fight against terrorism.

French and European institutional partners

The PACT is a French course aimed at French judges, prosecutors and other professionals who contribute to the fight against terrorism and it was devised with the help of French institutions: "The content of the course has been put together in partnership with the Ministries of the Interior and the Armed Forces, and thanks to the support of many departments and institutions, such as the National Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Coordination Unit (CNRLT) or the National Gendarmerie Intervention Unit (GIGN)", confides Élodie Malassis.

But it does also tie in with a wish to participate in a more global cooperation: "Each module also includes a review of the threat in a given geographical zone as well as a visit that provides an opportunity to meet and talk to other actors in the fight against terrorism. We do address the international and European scopes and some trips are planned, in particular to the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL) and EUROJUST," explains Florence Gilbert, judge in charge of international cooperation at the ENM.