On 8-9 May, the IIJ convened the second of four regional workshops aimed at developing a set of good practices for Central Authorities under the Global Central Authorities Initiative launched in Rabat, Morocco, in November 2015. The Southeast Asia Regional Workshop, held in Jakarta and co-hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights, gathered Central Authority practitioners from seven of the ten ASEAN countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – along with representatives from Australia, Japan, the United States, UNAFEI and UNODC. Practitioners discussed the ten draft good practices and exchanged views on the steps needed to create durable Central Authorities capable of facilitating effective and efficient cooperation and mutual legal assistance among international partners. Small group fact pattern exercises drawing on real life scenarios fostered deeper mutual understanding of the challenges and opportunities between Central Authorities.
The goal of the Global Central Authorities Initiative is to establish a set of good practices that will become the international standard for Central Authority development, guiding the important work of Central Authorities and setting forth the essential functions such institutions need to perform. These good practices further elucidate Good Practice No. 9 of the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF’s) Rabat Memorandum of Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector, which calls for practices and procedures to encourage international cooperation in counterterrorism matters, and also implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2322 (2016), aimed at strengthening international judicial cooperation. The first regional workshop under this initiative was held in Malta in March 2016, and a further two regional workshops – in the Horn of Africa and South Asia regions – will be held in the second half of 2017.