Criminal Law Forum

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 363–391 | Cite as

The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime: Defining `Crime’ in a Digital World

  • Jonathan CloughEmail author


The use of digital technology in the commission or facilitation of crime, so-called ‘cybercrimes’, has been around for almost as long as the technology itself. The interconnected nature of the technology means that this is a global problem. It was a regional agreement, the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, which emerged as the first and so far the only multilateral binding instrument to regulate cybercrime. The focus of this article is on the substantive offence provisions of the Convention, and the criticism that they have failed to keep pace with technological developments.This article emphasizes that although the provisions of the Convention are imperfect, they remain largely relevant today. Furthermore, there are mechanisms for improvement built into the Convention. It also argues that the Convention is not a model law, but a framework upon which specific offences can be based, which allows countries to modify their laws where necessary to keep pace with the technology.


Crime Prevention EUROPE Convention Criminal Code Child Pornography Identity Theft 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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