Attorney General Anand Ramlogan recently attended the Sixth Meeting of the Working Group on Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters hosted by the OAS Secretariat in Brazilia.
The Meeting considered the Proposed Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters relative to the use of new communication technologies and hearings by video conference. This Protocol is intended to create an instrument to facilitate the use of new communication technologies for cooperation on mutual assistance in criminal matters and extradition.
The potential benefits of the use of video conferencing include expediting the issuing and processing of requests for mutual assistance among state parties, reducing costs and inconveniences caused by travel to a foreign country and assisting in the protection of vulnerable or intimidated victims and witnesses.
The Meeting also considered the Proposed Protocol on Joint Investigation Teams for the purpose of regulating the legitimacy of and actions by joint investigation teams. The formation and use of such teams is considered a necessary mechanism for combating transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, corruption, money laundering as it facilitates joint and coordination actions by officials across international borders.
The Attorney General has continued to be a fervent advocate for ensuring that the investigating and prosecution authorities in Trinidad and Tobago are adequately equipped with the necessary tools and resources to tackle organized crime.
The Attorney General therefore viewed the participation and contribution of Trinidad and Tobago in this Meeting as critically important in gaining an understanding of existing international practices for combatting organized crime which may be beneficial to Trinidad and Tobago. More importantly, he recognised the need for Trinidad and Tobago to be actively engaged in the creation of modern best practices such as the use of video conferencing and joint investigation teams.
Trinidad and Tobago provided contributions on its current practices and developments and in turn, was provided with an understanding of the challenges and successes faced by other Member States.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, who heads the Central Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, which is a specially created unit established to facilitate legal cooperation and collaboration with its international counterparts, was accompanied by Ms. Renee Charles, Senior Legal Executive in the Central Authority.
As a show of commitment to the continued support of international cooperation in the fight against transnational crime, the Attorney General, on behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago accepted the honour of hosting the Seventh Meeting of the Working Group on Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters scheduled for 2016.