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Croatia has dedicated legislation on both domestic and international terrorism as well as terrorism against the civilian population in a situation of armed conflict. A new Criminal Code entered into force at the beginning of 2013 with provisions relating to acts of terrorism and terrorist organizations, terrorist financing, as well as public incitement, recruitment, and training for terrorism. There is no explicit carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

The Criminal Code defines an act of terrorism as any person who commits a stipulated predicate offence

 with the aim of seriously intimidating a population, or compelling a government or an international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act, or seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental constitutional, political, economic or social structures of a state or an international organisation,

Predicate offences include the following "which may seriously damage a state or an international organisation":

  1. attacks upon a person's life which may cause death;
  2. attacks upon the physical integrity of a person;
  3. kidnapping or hostage taking;
  4. causing destruction to a government or public facility, a transport system, an infrastructure facility, including an information system, a public place or private property, which is likely to endanger human life or result in major economic loss;
  5. seizure of aircraft, ships vessel or other means of public or goods transport;
  6. manufacture, possession, acquisition, transport, supply or use of weapons, explosives, nuclear, biological or chemical weapons as well as research into and development of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons;
  7. release of dangerous substances, or causing fires, explosions or floods, the effect of which is to endanger human life;
  8. interfering with or disrupting the supply of water, electricity or any other fundamental natural resource, the effect of which is to endanger human life; or 
  9. possessing or using radioactive substances.

"Anti-State Terrorism" is defined as follows:

Whoever, with an aim to endanger the constitutional order or the security of the Republic of Croatia, causes an explosion, fire, or by a generally dangerous act or device imperils the lives of people or endangers property or kidnaps a person, or commits some other act of violence within the territory of the Republic of Croatia or against its citizens, thus causing a feeling of personal insecurity in citizens, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three years.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Croatia is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Croatia is also a State Party to the main regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2003 Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party

In adhering to the 1977 Convention, Croatia reserved the right to refuse extradition in respect of any offence mentioned in Article 1 which it considers to be either a political offence or an offence inspired by political motives. In such a case, Croatia will

take into due consideration, when evaluating the character of the offence, any particularly serious aspects of the offence, including:

a. that it created a collective danger to the life, physical integrity or liberty of persons, or

b. that it affected persons foreign to the motives behind it, or

c. that cruel or vicious means have been used in the commission of the offence.

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The 2013 version of the Criminal Code addresses specific terrorist offences in Articles 97 to 103. The law generally provides for a penalty for terrorist offences of between three and fifteen years in prison, unless death is the result of the act. Public incitement to terrorism and recruitment for terrorist purposes or training are subject to imprisonment for between one and ten years.Arts. 99 to 101, 2013 Criminal Code of Croatia.

Organizing and associating with a terrorist association is also criminalized:

Whoever organises or runs a criminal association the aim of which is to commit a [terrorist] offence or any other criminal offence intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian or to any other person not taking an active part in an armed conflict, when the purpose of such an act is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organisation to perform or to abstain from performing any act, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of between three and fifteen years.Art. 102(1), 2013 Criminal Code of Croatia.

Whoever becomes a member of such a criminal association, or commits an act with knowledge that such act contributes to the achievement of the terrorist association's goal, shall be punished by imprisonment from one to eight years.Art. 102(2), 2013 Criminal Code of Croatia.

Terrorizing the civilian population in an armed conflict is a war crime punishable with a minimum of five years imprisonment.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Croatia has a dedicated police counterterrorism unit, the Anti-Terrorist Unit Lučko (Lučko ATU; Antiteroristička jedinica Lučko), which is stationed near Zagreb.

Croatia's main strategic document in the field of counterterrorism is the National Strategy for the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism, adopted by the Government in 2015. 


Criminal Code of Croatia (unofficial English translation)

Criminal Code of Croatia (original version)