26 - 28 March 2018 - Regional Cooperation & Institutional Integrity Workshop held In Accra, Ghana
Representatives from CRIMJUST participating countries met in Ghana from 26 to 28 March 2018 for a regional workshop on "Regional Cooperation & Institutional Integrity: Key Building Blocks in Strengthening Criminal Investigation and Cooperation along the Cocaine Route", organized by UNODC under the framework of the Global Programme CRIMJUST.
At the opening, the EU Delegation in Ghana emphasized the positive impact of combatting organized and drug-related crime through capacity building assistance that target to crucial elements for success: international judicial cooperation and integrity.
The first part of the workshop was devoted to updates on drug seizures and international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of such cases. The discussion focused on transnational case examples and measures to strengthen effective judicial cooperation, especially Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA). Significant UN Conventions that can be used to facilitate such cooperation were presented. Drafting requests for Mutual Legal Assistance was another topic highlighted at the meeting, dedicated to enhance knowledge about UNODC technical assistance tools and publications in the field of international cooperation in criminal matters, including the MLA Request Writer Tool.
The second part, focused on measures to strengthen institutional integrity, as governments from all participating countries have ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which includes a specific provision in judicial and prosecutorial integrity and independence, article 11 of UNCAC. Based on a pre-workshop survey, the participating countries discussed sub-topics of institutional integrity and heard experiences from other countries as well as good practice standards.
UNODC's further involvement in the region also takes place alongside the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP), and aims to facilitate regional and inter-regional cooperation at formal and informal levels. Hence, this workshop will be the starting point for further action in the area of prosecutorial integrity and aims at increasing accountability of criminal justice institutions.
U nder the framework of the CRIMJUST project funded by European Union Cocaine Route Programme, UNODC and its partners (INTERPOL and TI) aim to assist Member States to enhance their capacity and integrity of criminal justice institutions to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate illicit cocaine trafficking cases, and to foster cooperation at the interregional level for effective action to tackle drug trafficking and related organized crime.
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