On 27 June 2019, the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) convened a workshop in Cairo, Egypt, on enhancing regional and international cooperation between criminal justice sector stakeholders in terrorism cases. The workshop brought together 40 judges, prosecutors, and investigators from nine countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
The capacity-building workshop, convened under the IIJ Global Central Authorities Initiative, highlighted the importance of establishing effective international judicial cooperation for prosecuting and adjudicating terrorism cases and encouraged participating countries to adopt legislation, policies and procedures consistent with the internationally-recognised good practices set out in the IIJ Good Practices for Central Authorities (hereafter IIJ Good Practices). Published in September 2018, the IIJ Good Practices (available in English, French and Arabic) serve as a guide for Central Authorities – the national entities responsible for mutual legal assistance (MLA) and extradition – and provide a framework of institutional, legal and practical considerations for establishing and supporting the work of these important institutions.
During the one-day workshop in Cairo, experts from the Central Authorities of Algeria, Senegal and Tanzania shared their experiences in issuing, receiving and affording MLA and extradition requests, and presented real case studies illustrating the IIJ Good Practices. Participants also had the opportunity to work through a practical group fact-pattern exercise on international judicial cooperation, applying the IIJ Good Practices to a real-world hypothetical scenario. Lastly, the practitioners discussed challenges and obstacles to dealing with MLA and extradition requests in the course of their investigations and prosecutions, and those identified during the practical exercise, and agreed on next steps for improving judicial cooperation in the MENA region.
The event was the first of a series of interactive regional workshops for criminal justice sector stakeholders that the IIJ is convening under the IIJ Global Central Authorities Initiative (GCAI). One of eight IIJ Core Initiatives, the IIJ GCAI is supporting countries to meet calls from the international community to strengthen international judicial cooperation and the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2322 (2016) and 2396 (2017). The next workshop in this series will bring together Central Authorities from East African countries for an event in Entebbe, Uganda, on 4- 5 September 2019.
For more information on this workshop, please contact Adrián Carbajo, IIJ Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.