A World of Difference: The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and the Challenges of Harmonisation

(2014) 40(3) Monash University Law Review 698-736

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015/06

39 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2015 Last revised: 6 Aug 2015

See all articles by Jonathan Clough

Jonathan Clough

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are now central to the way we interact, both socially and commercially. Inevitably, some people will use ICTs in the commission or facilitation of crime; so-called ‘cybercrimes’. The interconnected nature of modern technology makes this a global problem, and for decades there has been international awareness of the need for coordinated action. The Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime (‘Convention’) was the first multilateral binding instrument to regulate cybercrime. Having recently passed the 10th anniversary of its coming into force, it is timely to reflect on the Convention’s role in the harmonisation of cybercrime laws and its place amongst other international efforts to combat cybercrime. This article begins with a discussion of the importance of harmonisation in combatting cybercrime. There is then a general overview of the Convention, followed by an analysis of three key aspects of harmonisation — the extent to which it is: (1) comprehensive; (2) protective of rights; and (3) representative. Consideration is then given to the desirability and likelihood of an international convention on cybercrime. Although the Convention remains the most significant instrument in this area, it is now accompanied by a range of international, regional and national initiatives. In an environment where an international agreement may be some way off, the Convention provides an important touchstone against which national efforts may be measured. More broadly, the international focus is appropriately moving toward the more pressing issue of capacity building.

Keywords: Cybercrime, Council of Europe, Budapest Convention

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Clough, Jonathan, A World of Difference: The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and the Challenges of Harmonisation (2014). (2014) 40(3) Monash University Law Review 698-736; Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015/06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2615789

Jonathan Clough (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

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