Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of the Americas will meet in Brazil
The highest authorities of the OAS Member States with responsibilities in international legal cooperation, principally with respect to criminal matters, will meet in the capital Brasilia, and adopt concrete measures to strengthen legal and judicial cooperation in the region and to efficiently confront the challenges presented in this area.
The Eighth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA VIII), will be an extremely important event, and one at which steps taken by the countries of the hemisphere in areas related to justice and legal and judicial cooperation will be analyzed, particularly with respect to mutual assistance in criminal matters and extradition, cybercrime, treatment of persons and other forms of organized transnational crime, as well as protection of victims and witnesses, prison and penitentiary policies, forensic investigation and family and child rights.
At this event, the OAS General Secretariat will inform the American States of the progress achieved and the new technological tools that have been developed in relation to the Hemispheric Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition (Criminal Matters Network), particularly in relation to the secure videoconference system.
REMJA VIII, which will take place from February 24 to 26, will for the first time, and in fulfillment of the “Document of Washington”, which consolidates the institutionalization of the REJMA process, have participation from Ministers of Justice as well as Prosecutors or Attorneys General from those Latin-American countries that have both of those institutions.
The President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, together with the Minister of Justice, Luiz Paulo Barreto, and OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, will provide opening remarks to the participating delegations, which will be broadcast on the OAS Internet webpage, which may be consulted at: www.oas.org/en/media_center/videos.asp
The REMJA process has become the most important political and technical forum in areas related to the strengthening of and access to justice and international legal and judicial cooperation.
More information on this process and REMJA VIII, can be consulted at: http://www.oas.org/en/sla/dlc/remja/
OAS Member States agree on measures to advance in the fight against Cybercrime
Authorities and experts in the fight against cybercrime from the Member States of the Organization of American States gathered at OAS Headquarters on January 21 and 22, 2010, on the occasion of the Sixth Meeting of the REMJA Working Group on Cyber-Crime, in order to evaluate the progress achieved thus far, and to define further concrete cooperation actions in the field of cybercrime.
Opening remarks at the meeting were provided by the Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza, who noted in his intervention that “The possibility of detecting, preventing, confronting and punishing these types of crimes depends on coordination between authorities from the public and private sector and cooperation between countries.”
In this connection, in addition to governmental prosecutorial and investigative experts, the meeting was also attended by private sector companies, including Yahoo! Inc. and the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), who presented on aspects related to cooperation between government authorities and the private sector with respect to the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes and the gathering of electronic evidence.
Some of the more noteworthy recommendations issued by the meeting call for States to: “adopt the legislation and procedural measures that are specifically required to criminalize the different forms of cybercrime…”; “set up and maintain Internet pages to provide citizens with information on how to avoid falling prey to cybercrimes and on how to detect and report such crimes to competent authorities when they do occur”; and “establish…specific units or bodies charged with managing and conducting the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes…”
Similarly, the General Secretariat of the OAS, through the Department of Legal Cooperation of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs, was charged with, among other tasks, completing and updating the Inter-American Cooperation Portal on Cyber-Crime; and giving consideration to the use of other technological tools in order to facilitate the exchange of information between governmental experts on cybercrime and in the area of international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting those crimes.
With respect to future training, the Working Group accepted the offer of the United States government to continue to develop a training program for prosecutors, investigators and judges, to increase and strengthen international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes, particularly with respect to technologies that enable criminals to use the Internet on a global scale, as well as tools that assist law enforcement in this regard, bearing in mind the trans-national nature of these crimes
Pursuant to this recommendation, the Department of Legal Cooperation has begun coordination with the United States Department of Justice, to schedule and plan the first three workshops in this regard, which would take place in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean regions.
The recommendations adopted by the Sixth Meeting of the Working Group will be considered by the Ministers and Attorneys General of the OAS Member States at REMJA VIII, scheduled to take place in Brasilia, Brazil, from February 24 to 26, 2010.
Additional information on the activities of the REMJA Working Group on Cyber-Crime can be found on the Inter-American Cooperation Portal on Cyber-Crime, available at: http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/cyber.htm
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