Origin of the Network
The Hemispheric Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in
Criminal Matters and Extradition (the “Network”) has been in development since
the year 2000, when the Third Meeting of the Ministers of Justice or of
Ministers or Attorney Generals of the Americas (REMJA-III) decided to increase
and improve the exchange of information among OAS Member States in the area of
mutual assistance in criminal matters.
To that end, an informal working group, composed of Argentina, the Bahamas,
Canada and El Salvador, and with the technical support of the OAS General Secretariat, began to exchange
ideas and lead this initiative. In late 2001, the first version of the Network
was unveiled: a public website with information pertaining to mutual legal
assistance in criminal matters and extradition for those four countries. Supported
by subsequent REMJA, OAS General Assembly and Summit
of the America’s meetings, the Network began incorporating more states.
The Network not only grew in size, but it also grew in scope. During the
First Meeting of Central Authorities and other Experts in Mutual Legal
Assistance in Criminal Matters which took place in Ottawa, Canada (April 30 –
May 2, 2003) it was recommended that a private and secure network be
established for the exchange of information between central authorities directly
involved in legal cooperation in criminal matters.
REMJA-VI, held April 24-26, 2006 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic,
recommended the continued consolidation of the Network to include all OAS member
states. By the end of 2006, 23 countries were part of the Network, which
comprised three components: a public page, a private page and a secure
electronic communication system.
The OAS General Secretariat is currently working to ensure that all OAS Member States will be
fully participating in the Network by the next REMJA meeting, which will take
place in the United States