Criminal Justice


Our commitment

To strengthen justice systems, the RPF focus will focus on the following areas:

  1. Ratification by member states of international conventions and instruments;
  2. Implementation of domestic legislation and supporting procedures;
  3. Improved capacity of criminal justice systems to combat serious crimes as well as protect vulnerable groups; and
  4. Improved transnational cooperation on criminal justice matters

Support for the progressive development of a transnational organized justice system (Towards AsiaJust) will be given particular priority.

The RPF will strengthen its engagement in Asia and the Pacific to facilitate the effective implementation (not only the ratification) of relevant drug, trans-national crime and counterterrorism instruments of universal application. A strong crime prevention component will be built into current efforts, in particular focusing on the large youth populations in the countries of the region. Given the large needs in all of these areas, it is essential to base support on thorough needs assessments and expressed partner country interest. In collaboration with partner countries, UNODC has identified a range of areas where it can make a relevant contribution in the region. The focus in all cases is to achieve maximum government ownership and sustainability. To achieve the goal of improved adherence to the requirements of the counter terrorism instruments, legislative assistance will continue to be the main means of assistance provided by UNODC. It must be delivered both bilaterally and, as in the past, in collaboration with regional policy organizations such as the ASEAN Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat or technical organizations of recognized prestige and international expertise.

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Our main achievements in 2012

  • Cambodia became the fifth country in addition to Lao PDR, Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam to have endorsed specific, long-term country programmes of activities focused on strengthening criminal justice responses to terrorism. Implementation has started with UNODC support.
  • Myanmar advanced its draft law on counter-terrorism according to international standards and norms, and benefited from UNODC input. Lao PDR enacted its law on extradition. The Philippines enacted law and implemented rules and regulations on countering the financing of terrorism.
  • Lao PDR has become a state party to the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and its 1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf.
  • Viet Nam ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its supplementing Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol).
  • The Anti-Terrorism Council of the Philippines advanced its long-term sustainable capacity-training programme for collaborative investigation and prosecution of terrorism-related cases.
  • Legal assistance was provided to target countries including Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia in relation to anti-drug law, mutual legal assistance (MLA) law, and prosecutor-police relationship development and coordination through on-site advice and workshops. These contributed substantially to the development of legislation and investigative systems. 
  • A 'senior-level workshop on MLA' was organised in Bangkok with representatives from Japan, Korea and ASEAN countries (except Malaysia) in attendance. One substantive outcome was the making and sharing of a consolidated list of MLA contacts in Australia, China, Malaysia and New Zealand.
  • A concrete and progressive step was taken toward establishment of the Asset Recovery Inter-agency Network of Asia and the Pacific (ARIN-AP) by holding an 'expert meeting to develop ARIN-AP' in Seoul. This expert meeting built on previous preparatory meetings and saw an offer from the Korean Supreme Prosecutors' Office (SPO) to take on the role of secretariat for ARIN-AP, and to plan and host a preparatory meeting in March and a launch congress in June 2013. This proposal was made with strong support from the Australian Federal Police and will be an essential cornerstone for ARIN-AP.
  • The Prosecutor Exchange Programme (PEP) involving Lao PDR and Republic of Korea was launched. A prosecutor from Lao PDR successfully completed an eight-week programme in Korea, carrying out research on the legislature and investigation and confiscation systems in Korea for the purposes of AML.
  • UNODC conducted an assessment on the effectiveness of the criminal justice response to illegal timber trade in Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. The findings of the assessment were partially disseminated in 2012 and will be further discussed in 2013.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Indonesian law enforcement institutions were developed to promote coordination and communication in relation to cases of illegal logging and other forest crimes.

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Our main achievements in 2011

  • Lao PDR, Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam have endorsed specific, long-term country programmes of activities focused on strengthening their criminal justice responses to terrorism. Implementation has started with UNODC support.
  • Philippines and Thailand made notable progress in building their legal regimes on countering the financing of terrorism, in partnership with UNODC and the IMF.
  • The Anti-Terrorism Council of the Philippines has strengthened efforts for national capacity-building, particularly in the area of collaborative investigation and prosecution of terrorism-related cases, with UNODC support.
  • In Indonesia, more than 1,000 law enforcement and justice sector officials have benefited from professional development courses delivered through the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC). This training is being systematically evaluated, including with respect to impact back in the workplace.
  • In collaboration with ASEAN, a regional Prosecutor Exchange Programme (PEP) was further developed and will be implemented in 2012, starting with Indonesia and the Republic of Korea.
  • Development of a Regional Prosecutors' Network against cyber-crime was further advanced through a regional workshop co-organized with ITU (International Telecommunication Union).
  • The concept of an ASEAN-based asset recovery inter-agency network against transnational organized crime was initiated, and common understanding on its necessity was developed with Member States.

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Our main achievements in 2010

  • Ratifications of crime and terrorism conventions by Indonesia, Lao PDR, and Nauru. (Nauru became one of only seven countries in the world to have completed the ratification of all 16 counter-terrorism instruments.) The Solomon Islands and Tuvalu are finalizing their ratification process for the remaining instruments.
  • The Philippines and Thailand have taken important steps towards developing legislation on countering the financing of terrorism, drawing on specialized assistance from joint initiatives of the IMF and UNODC.
  • Lao PDR and the Philippines drafted legislation on international cooperation in criminal matters with UNODC support.
  • Also drawing on extensive UNODC assistance, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Vanuatu took significant steps in developing legislation on counter-terrorism.
  • Agreement has been given by ASEAN Member States to work with UNODC to establish a regional network of prosecutors to help strengthen responses to transnational organized crime. A regional Prosecutor Exchange Programme (PEP) has also been developed, and will start in 2011.
  • Partnerships on criminal justice responses to terrorism for East/South-East Asia and for the Pacific have been initiated. They aim, in each case, to provide coordinated technical assistance tailored to country-specific, capacity-building needs.

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Our main achievements in 2009

  • Promotion of full adherence to the 16 international counter-terrorism treaties in Niue, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia.
  • Development of counter-terrorism legislation in Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Fiji.
  • Establishment of 'Judicial Watch Networks' in 9 Indonesian provinces.
  • Establishment of improved coordination arrangements in Lao PDR among national authorities responsible for drug and crime control.
  • Strengthened capacity of national and provincial law enforcement officials in Viet Nam to prevent and better respond to cases of domestic violence.
  • Development of a regional programme to support a Transnational Organised Justice scheme in the region (Towards AsiaJust).

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