Events

31ST PILON ANNUAL MEETING 2011 (KOKOPO, PNG)

OUTCOMES REPORT

Papua New Guinea hosted the 31st Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Annual Meeting from 29 to 31 October 2012 in Kokopo, PNG.  The theme of the meeting was ‘Challenges and Strategies to Enhance Democratic Governance and the Rule of Law’.

PILON member countries represented at the meeting included Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The following observer members also attended:  International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS); and the University of the South Pacific (USP).  Representatives from the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG/ML), the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA), AusAID, the New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office, the Oceania Customs Organisation and the Australian High Commission (Port Moresby) also observed the meeting.

Meeting Outcomes

Members attending the meeting concluded a communiqué.  Members also agreed to formal outcomes and a work plan for the PILON Secretariat in 2013:

Communiqué of the 30th PILON Annual Meeting
2012 PILON Annual Meeting Outcomes Report
2013 PILON Secretariat Work Plan

The PILON Secretariat also provided a report on its activities to those in attendance:  PILON Secretariat Report 2012

Members considered and endorsed a draft two year Strategic Plan for PILON, due to commence in 2013.  The draft Plan will be finalised before the end of 2012, and then made available with further details on this website.

Key issues

The meeting was opened by the Hon Kerenga Kua LLB OL MP, Minister for Justice & Attorney General of Papua New Guinea.  The official opening address provided by the Minister welcomed delegates to Kokopo on behalf of the PNG Government, and referred to key aspects of the theme of the meeting, including the importance of accountability for democratic governance, challenges posed by corruption in upholding the rule of law, and the essential role played by Government lawyers in upholding and strengthening the rule of law: Opening Address

Members considered presentations and discussed key issues relating to the theme of the meeting including:

- Democratic governance and the rule of law (presentation by Professor Paul Rishworth: 
- Current and emerging challenges to democratic governance and the rule of law (presentation by Professor John Nonggor)
Leadership and good governance (presentation by Mr John Toguata CBE 
Role of Government lawyers in enhancing democratic governance & the rule of law (presentation by Hon. Maurice Sheehan CMG
- Practical anti-corruption strategies to support the rule of law and good governance – covering:

* Anti-money laundering measures as an anti-corruption tool (Sisilia Eteuati (APG-ML));
* Anti-corruption measures – Tonga (Neil Adsett (Attorney General, Tonga)); and
* Experiences of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) mutual evaluation process (Molean Kilepak (PNG Department of Justice and Attorney General); and Roger Wilkins AO (Secretary, Australian Attorney-General’s Department))

A summary of each presentation is contained in the Meeting Outcomes Report, above.

Presentations were also provided by PILON Observer Members and other regional organisations providing an update on relevant regional initiatives.  These included the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, International Committee of the Red Cross, University of the South Pacific Law School, South Pacific Lawyers' Association; and Oceania Customs Organisation.

Members also considered presentations providing updates regarding the Pacific Prosecutors’ Association, Pacific Legislative Drafters’ Technical Forum and PILON Litigation Skills Programme.  Relevant resolutions by Members, in response to these updates, are contained in the Meeting outcomes report.

Other meeting documents are available on the Country Reports page (here) for the 31st Annual Meeting.

 
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30TH PILON ANNUAL MEETING 2011 (AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND)
OUTCOMES REPORT

New Zealand hosted the 30th Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Annual Meeting from 4 to 6 December 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  The theme of the meeting was ‘Legal Challenges and Strategies to Enhance Pacific Sustainable Economic Development’.

PILON member countries represented at the meeting included Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

The following observer members also attended: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS); Pacific International Maritime Law Association (PIMLA); Secretariat of the Pacific Community (Regional Rights Resources Team (RRRT)); Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP); United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).

Representatives from the Pitcairn Islands, the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat, Pacific Immigration Directors’ Conference Secretariat, the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), AusAID, the New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture, the SPC/SOPAC Deep Sea Mining project, and the Pacific Aviation Safety Office observed the meeting.

Meeting Outcomes

Members attending the meeting agreed to formal outcomes and a work plan for the PILON Secretariat in 2012: 

2011 PILON Annual Meeting Outcomes Report
2012 PILON Secretariat Work Plan

The PILON Secretariat also provided a report on its activities to those in attendance:  PILON Secretariat Report 2011

Members also considered, and resolved to approve, an application by the Pitcairn Islands to become a member country of PILON.

The issue of the future structure, funding and functions of the PILON Secretariat was also discussed by Members.  These issues will be the subject of further work throughout 2012.
 
Key issues

Members considered presentations and discussed key issues relating to the theme of the meeting including:

Climate Change:   The presentation by Simon Watt and Kate Redgewell of Bell Gully discussed the role of lawyers in relation to climate change issues in the Pacific Islands, on an international, regional and domestic basis. An overview of the climate change funding schemes available to Pacific Island countries for assistance in climate change adaption and mitigation was provided.

Commercialisation of State Assets:  Denis McNamara of Lowndes Associates discussed the identification of government assets for commercialisation, issues experienced by investors, and corporate governance requirements with reference to a Niue tourism example.

Drafting of Commercial and Investment Legislation: David Cochrane of Simpson Grierson provided an overview of issues to consider and matters which may be included in developing effective legislation in this area. 

Fisheries Projects:  The presentation by Frank McLaughlin and Maree Newson of Chapman Tripp identified key elements of fisheries development proposals, identified risks and steps to mitigate risks, and detailed resources available through the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). 

Fisheries Management Issues: Theresa Potoi of the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provided a presentation which discussed domestic and international aspects of fisheries management issues, and regional cooperation in combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. 

The PILON Secretariat also provided an out-of-session paper for Members' consideration, reporting back in relation to best practice on regulation with respect to environmental and resource management (PDF 616KB)

The meeting was fortunate to be addressed by the Right Honourable Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias GNZM.  Dame Elias's presentation discussed the role of government lawyers in upholding the rule of law, and the importance of the recognition of both human rights and custom in legal systems in the Pacific.

Presentations were also provided by PILON Observer Members and other regional organisations providing an update on relevant regional initiatives.  These included:

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
International Committee of the Red Cross
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
University of the South Pacific Law School
South Pacific Lawyers' Association
SPC / SOPAC Deep Sea Mining Project 
Pacific Islands Lawyers for Human Rights Network
Pacific Aviation Safety Office

Other meeting documents are available on the Country Reports page (here) for the 30th Annual Meeting.

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Delegates at the 30th PILON Annual Meeting

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