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On Wednesday, February 19, 2014, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States formally convened the Sixth Meeting of the Working Group on Legal Cooperation on Criminal Matters of the REMJA Process (Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas), which will take place in Brasilia, Brazil, on May 15 and 16, 2014, in fulfillment of the mandate of the General Assembly of the OAS and the Document of Washington, which governs the REMJA process.

This will be the third occasion on which the Government of Brazil, as a show of its continued commitment to strengthening legal cooperation in criminal matters in the Region, will have hosted a gathering of this nature.  The first occasion was in September, 2005, when the Central Authorities and other Governmental Experts on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition of the OAS Member States met for the second time, and the second was in February, 2010, when Brazil hosted the Eighth Meeting of the Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA VIII), the principal policy and technical forum, which at the hemispheric level, addresses issues related to the strengthening of and access to justice, as well as international legal cooperation in criminal matters.

This Sixth Meeting will serve as the opportunity for central authorities to tackle initiatives that are fundamental for facilitating and making legal cooperation in criminal matters in the Americas more efficient and expedient, including the consideration of a flexible and expedient Inter-American instrument in the area of extradition; the Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters related to the Use of New Communication Technologies and Hearings by Videoconference; and legal guidelines to serve as a model for the establishment of joint investigation teams.

For more information about this meeting and the developments and activities of this Working Group, visit the OAS Criminal Matters Network.

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