SEAJust - EJN Inter-regional Meeting

The South East Asia Justice Network (SEAJust) convened online with the European Judicial Network (EJN) for an inter-regional meeting on 14 December 2021. The meeting included members from SEAJust (Thailand, Australia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Vietnam), from EJN (Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain), representatives of the Institute for Legal Support and Technical Assistance (ILSTA) and UNODC officials.

Mr. Ola Löfgren, Secretary of the EJN established that the meeting was an opportunity to exchange information on the different legal systems which could, in turn, facilitate judicial cooperation between Europe and South East Asia. Ms. Karen Kramer delivered remarks on behalf of UNODC, thanked the representatives of EJN for co-organizing this event, and stressed the importance of using existing multilateral and bilateral tools for cooperation (for instance, the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption ) to address all forms of transnational organized and serious crime. 

Presentations on the national legal framework relating to mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and responsible central authorities were delivered by SEAJust and EJN contact points in Australia, Thailand, France, and Germany. Thereafter, a session for comments and questions enabled participating countries to discuss different particularities regarding the mutual legal assistance and extradition processes that are in place in Germany and France.

Ms. Ianina Lipara, Coordinator of the EJN Secretariat, proposed a number of follow-up actions in collaboration with the SEAJust and stressed the importance of meeting in person at a later date to establish solid contacts. Ms. Lipara equally stated that there is an opportunity for SEAJust to contribute to a paper that the EJN was preparing: it explains for each network to which a country is a member what can be gained through their cooperation. In conclusion, she presented the EJN website which was recently revamped, and pointed out that the presentations of the meeting can be uploaded and can be password-protected if desired.