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Pacific Prosecutors' Association

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The Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference was initiated and developed by senior Pacific prosecutors to address specific challenges prosecutors face in Pacific island countries.  The Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference aims to bring together prosecutors from across the Pacific to discuss common issues such as prosecutor independence, accountability, capacity, resources, and the challenges faced in the prosecution of specific crimes in the Pacific.

At the first Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference in 2009, attendees resolved to support establishment of the Pacific Prosecutors’ Association (PPA).  The PPA is directed towards improving prosecutorial services within the Pacific, through providing a collective voice for Pacific Prosecutors and support for member offices.  Membership of the Pacific Prosecutors Association is limited to legal practitioners who are prosecutors in PILON countries, including heads of prosecution offices.


At the 27th PILON Meeting in 2008, the Attorney General of Samoa presented a proposal for an initial conference for prosecutors from Pacific island countries to consider issues of specific relevance to them in the region.  PILON Members agreed to an initial conference for prosecutors from Pacific island countries to meet to discuss issues relevant to them, including the establishment of a Pacific prosecutors’ network or association.  It was agreed that Samoa would develop an agenda for the initial conference in consultation with the Secretariat.

2015 - 6th Pacific Prosecutors’ Association Conference - Tonga
The 6th Annual Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference was hosted by the Attorney General’s Office of Tonga, and held at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre, Nuku’alofa in July with the meeting theme ‘Pacific Prosecutions and Good Governance: Independence, Accountability and Transparency.

The three day program commenced with a technical workshop held as a pre meeting event which looked at ‘Prosecuting in the Pacific with Expert Evidence’. The workshop covered expert evidence on mental health, forensic pathology, and forensic accounting. Experts in these fields presented at the workshop which generated lively discussions from participants.

The program featured presentations and panel discussions on the conference theme including key areas:  Pacific Prosecutors and Good Governance; Prosecutor Welfare; Improving Relations with Police; and, Prosecuting Sexual and Gender Based Violence.

The PPA Executive Committee now comprise of: Tonga, Samoa, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The 7th annual PPA meeting in 2016 will be hosted by Nauru.
2014 - 5th Pacific Prosecutors' Association Conference - Fiji
The theme for the PPC 2014 was “Prosecuting in Remote Areas”. There were 15 participants from 10 member countries (Cook Islands, FSM, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu) along with 2 representatives from the Australian Attorney General’s Department, 1 representative from the New Zealand Crown Law Office and 1 advisor of the Papua New Guinea Public Prosecutions Office.

Participants considered presentations on and held interactive discussions on remote areas prosecutions as well as a presentation on capability mapping within Pacific Prosecutions which identified basic resources required for successful prosecution offices in terms of technology and training. Participants were given a preview of the findings and recommendations of a review of Pacific forensic laws, which was conducted in 2014 at the request of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) Forensic Working Group.  The review found that, in most Pacific island countries, the legal frameworks that govern the collection and use of forensic evidence have significant gaps.  This can make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to lawfully collect key forensic evidence required to get a conviction, and gives rise to risks that forensic evidence may be challenged in court.  The review recommends that a regional approach be taken to law reform in this area by developing model forensic provisions. 

The conference concluded with Tonga offering to host the 2015 PPA conference.
2012 - 4th Pacific Prosecutors' Conference - Solomon Islands
The fourth Annual Pacific Prosecutors' Conference was hosted by the Solomon Islands Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in July 2012. The theme of the 2012 PPC was “Building prosecutor capacity; dismantling the web of corruption”.  The Conference was attended by delegates from prosecution offices of the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.  Organisations represented as observers included the International Association of Prosecutors, the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors, Commonwealth Secretariat, Crown Law Office of New Zealand, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, UNDP (Pacific Centre), UNODC, and the World Bank.

Attendees considered presentations on the conference theme, including in relation to institutional models for prosecuting corruption, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), and assistance available in tracing and recovering assets obtained through corruption.  Presentations were also provided regarding the role of prosecutors in upholding judicial and prosecutorial independence and forms of regional and international support available for Pacific prosecutors.  PPA member delegates also discussed topics including integrity standards, building prosecution capacity, and enhancing the role of the PPA.
2011 - 3rd Pacific Prosecutors Conference - Vanuatu
The 2011 Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference was hosted by the Vanuatu Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, in May 2011.  The theme of the conference was "An inclusive criminal justice system: giving due recognition to our cultural processes”.  The conference was attended by prosecutors from the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.  Presentations on the conference theme – including those given by representatives of USP, the Public Prosecutors’ Office of Vanuatu, NZ Crown Law, the Victorian Koori Court, and French Polynesia’s Public Prosecutors’ Office – led to open discussion regarding attendees’ experiences, shared issues or constraints, and opportunities.
2010 - 2nd Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference - Samoa

The Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference was held in Apia, Samoa in June 2010.  The theme of the 2010 Conference was The Impact of Technology in the Commission and Prosecution of Crime.  The aim of the conference was for Pacific island prosecutors to share knowledge about technology and its role in the commission and prosecution of crime.

The conference was attended by 35 delegates drawn from member countries and observer organisations. Countries represented included: Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga, and Nauru.

In addition to resolutions passed by attendees in relation to technology in the courtroom and in investigation, members resolved to invite the PILON Secretarat to act as temporary host of the Secretariat of the PPA.  This proposal was later endorsed by the 2010 PILON Meeting.  Members also considered a draft constitution for the Association.
2009 - 1st Pacific Prosecutors’ Conference - Australia
The inaugural Pacific Prosecutors Conference was held in July 2009 in Brisbane, Australia, preceding the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors Conference.  Prosecutors from PNG, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa and Australia attended the conference, as well as several observer organisations.  Funding for the conference was provided by Commonwealth Secretariat, the UNODC, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and AusAid.  The theme of the conference was Prosecutor Independence and Integrity, and the agenda was developed by the Samoan Office of the Attorney General through consultation with prosecution offices in the Pacific.

Speakers at the conference included: The Honourable Justice William David Baragwanath (President of the Court of Appeal of Samoa); John Pike (General Counsel, Solicitor General’s Team, New Zealand Crown Law Office); Ronald Talasasa (Director of Public Prosecution’s Office of the Solomon Islands); Shirani deFontgalland (Head-Criminal law section,Legal & Constitutional Affairs Division,Commonwealth Secretariat); Josaia Naigulevu (former Director of Public Prosecutions Office, Fiji); Mark Tedeschi QC (NSW senior prosecutor, President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors); and Nick Cowdery QC (Director of Public Prosecutions, New South Wales, Australia).

The topics the speakers presented on ranged from the role of prosecutors in the rule of law to specific problems within their jurisdictions.  Resolutions were also passed by conference attendees, which established a Pacific Prosecutors’ Association.  The host country for the next conference was appointed as the Secretariat for the Association.

Any enquiries regarding our work?

Please feel free to contact the PILON Secretariat.

PPA Executive Committee

The Current Executive Committee for the Pacific Prosecutors' Association consists of the heads of Prosecution Offices from the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa.


The PILON Secretariat has continued to provide support to the Pacific Prosecutors' Association since this proposal was first endorsed by the PILON Meeting in 2010.  For further information in relation to the Association or relevant contacts, please contact the PILON Secretariat.