The Commonwealth has unveiled new legislative reform tools to respond to current challenges such as terrorism, climate change, child marriage and cybercrime at the Law Ministers Meeting
The Commonwealth has unveiled new legislative reform tools to respond to current challenges such as terrorism, climate change, child marriage and cybercrime at the Law Ministers Meeting.
Commonwealth law ministers, attorneys general and senior officials gathered at the triennial meeting in Nassau, The Bahamas, from 16-19 October 2017.
This year’s meeting was themed around Strengthening the Rule of Law Through Technology.
Ministers considered legal frameworks for more efficient natural disaster relief efforts, including looking at relief agency accountability and emergency items’ import, export and transit.
Also high on the agenda was tackling cross-border and cyber crime, with the Commonwealth Secretariat updating ministers on a new app that will enable intra-Commonwealth co-operation against such crimes.
The proposal follows the recent launch of the Commonwealth Office for Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, which provides attorneys general in Commonwealth countries with online tools to legislate on issues such as violence against women and girls, gender discrimination, corruption and climate change.
Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of The Commonwealth, said: “Recent monster storms Irma and Maria, which barrelled through the Caribbean one after the other at record speeds, present a new kind of humanitarian challenge and require a new kind of response.
“These scenes of devastation at the hands of nature are everywhere in our Commonwealth, bringing vulnerable, least developed countries to their knees.
“We need to make sure that when people with no shelter, no food, no running water are trying to regain some semblance of normalcy, that the law facilitates swift, targeted aid.”
Katalaina Sapolu, Director of the Commonwealth’s Governance and Peace Directorate, said, “Law, in light of its close relationship with social and economic policies, needs to keep pace with advancements in technology and society.
“We can use emerging technologies to advance the rule of law, by simplifying manual procedures and boosting accuracy in criminal investigations and forensics.”