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OAS Member States Meet to Strengthen International Cooperation in Criminal Matters and Extradition

Between March 31st and April 2, 2009 central authorities and other government experts on international legal cooperation with direct responsibilities in the area of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and extradition in the OAS member states met in San Salvador, El Salvador. The focus of this meeting was to strengthen cooperation efforts and the exchange of information in these legal matters. The Fourth Meeting of the Working Group on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition of the REMJA (Meetings of Ministers of Justice or other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas) was held under the auspices of the General Secretariat of the OAS and the Ministry of Public Security and Justice, the Office of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Supreme Court of El Salvador.

During the first day, with the financial backing of Spain, a training workshop for the Secure Electronic Communication System of the  Hemispheric Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition (Criminal Matters Network) was held. The following two days consisted of plenary meetings, as outlined in the agenda.

During these plenary sessions, delegates discussed the recent progress made in the development of the Criminal Matters Network. Additionally, round table meetings were held to discuss topics related to strengthening hemispheric cooperation in the area of extradition, its developments and challenges, including the proposal related to the drafting of model legislation on the backing of warrants and other regional initiatives, the national and regional developments in the area of the protection of victims and witnesses, and the networks and other related processes in international cooperation in criminal matters:

This last round table session included presentations made by the representatives of the Ibero-American International Legal Cooperation Network (IberRed); the European Judicial Network (EJN), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Criminal Court, and the Ministry of Justice of Spain.  

The recommendations adopted during this meeting will be taken into consideration at the next Meeting of Ministers of Justice (REMJA-VII) which will be held in Brazil in 2010. The next meeting of this Working Group will be held in Paraguay.



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