By the Caribbean Journal staff
Caribbean prosecutors gathered in St Lucia Thursday and Friday to consider the best way forward to meet the challenges of fighting serious organised crime.
St Lucia Attorney General and Justice Minister Lorenzo Rudolph Francis emphasised the need for prosecutors to develop strong bonds and to strengthen their skills and capacity to fight the war on crime.
“The transnational nature of organised crime means that criminals operate across borders without respect for territorial waters, boundaries or jurisdictions,” Francis said. “Therefore, there is need for a joint approach which calls for cooperation and effective international law enforcement measures. This means that Caribbean states must implement harmonised legislation and other law enforcement mechanisms which can tackle these problems jointly in an effective and determine way.”
He also emphasised the need for legislation like that being proposed in St Kitts and Nevis, which is aimed at protecting witnesses from intimidation.
“For many years now there has been a draft CARICOM legislation in the form of a Justice Protection Act of 2003 which provides for the implementation of programmes for protecting witnesses who have been threatening or are in fear for themselves and families including their relocation to other states or countries, but this requires a collaborative approach and represents a combined effort in the fight against crime.
The two-day Director of Public Prosecutions Conference was held under the theme of “Strengthening of the Prosecution of Serious Organised Crime.”