The formal process at the United Nations to negotiate a global cybercrime convention began in 2022. By 8 April 2022, countries must submit their substantive contributions and proposed text on General Provisions, Provisions on Criminalization, Procedural Measures and Law Enforcement. This will be reviewed by the Ad Hoc Committee (AHC) and contribute to proposed treaty language for the ‘first reading’ of the convention at the second meeting of the AHC beginning on 30 May 2022.

The AHC held its initial meeting from 28 February to 11 March 2022 and revealed varying expectations and positions among members states. The AHC then held its first multi-stakeholder intersessional on 24–25 March. ‘Multi-stakeholder’ (i.e. private sector, civil society, academia) contributions are vital to ensuring a comprehensive negotiation process informed by a broad spectrum of expert opinion. This again showed a range of positions among participants. Both meetings revealed that states and multi-stakeholder participants are just warming up to this process, exploring the purpose and parameters of the proposed instrument.

In this document, we consider General Provisions, Provisions on Criminalization, Procedural Measures and Law Enforcement, and offer ideas for consideration when drafting language for this treaty. This contribution focuses solely on the topics for which treaty text must be submitted by states by 8 April 2022. For the other issues, we will contribute a second submission (covering international cooperation, technical assistance and capacity building, and prevention).