Latin America / Cooperation between justice systems

The digital future of judicial cooperation

26 October 2020

The fight against all forms of crime, especially organised crime, requires regulatory, institutional and practical mechanisms of cooperation between the operational authorities of different States. Currently, there are many facilities at the disposal of major crime to commit offences in different nations. With the click of a button, you can make a profit from one place and then another. Fighting it requires adapting to the pace of criminality and a significant flexing of the relations between prosecutors and judges who operate according to different rules.

Latin American institutions have excellent specialists in techniques of international judicial cooperation. Furthermore, new forms of cooperation are progressively being established and created. Examples of such are the joint investigation teams, which are also promoted by EL PAcCTO, and agreements that facilitate the electronic transmission of cooperation requests. But it is necessary to go further.

In this spirit, since 2018, the programme has been working to explore ways of establishing computer mechanisms which are accessible to all legal operators. In recent months it has taken a fundamental step forward. The result has been the creation of a tool that alleviates some of the difficulties encountered by judicial operators. It also smooths their relationships with the central authorities for international cooperation.

A digital tool to facilitate judicial cooperation

The objectives pursued with this tool are to facilitate operational work, increase the quantity and quality of international cooperation acts and extend the culture of international legal cooperation among all legal operators.

The judicial aid tool includes an interactive and intuitive form, available not only to specialists in international cooperation, but also to all prosecutors and judges everywhere. It facilitates access to legal material and practical advice to generate a document adapted to international standards on the matter and it deepens standardisation regarding cooperation methods. Complementary to this, the tool includes a translation mechanism into other languages. This will mean lower costs, as well as an increase in processing speed. It also has a system for creating documents in electronic format that can be transmitted to the central authority that handles their referral to the competent authority for execution. All of this means that, in practice, the use of the legal assistance form could significantly reduce working time.

Antonio Roma Coordinator of the Cooperation between Justice Systems component

 

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