3rd Annual PILON Cybercrime WorkshopWebsite Administrator
27 – 31 May 2019, Vanuatu
The workshop brought together over 70 lawyers and law enforcement officials from 14 Pacific Island countries. The Office of the Public Prosecutor of Vanuatu hosted the workshop, with funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Attorney-General’s Department, and the Council of Europe.
The theme of the workshop was International Cooperation to Share Electronic Evidence to Combat Cybercrime.
Key topics included looking at the informal and formal mechanisms for international cooperation to combat cybercrime, current trends, and how to present electronic evidence in court.
Expert speakers from the Council of Europe highlighted how important partnerships and networking are, and promoted the Budapest Convention as an effective way to encourage international cooperation to combat cybercrime and technology-enabled crime.
Always of interest, the ‘Pacific Perspectives’ session offered the opportunity for Pacific delegates to give a brief overview of any recent cases and update the workshop on law reform efforts.
Our law enforcement experts gave an overview of the processes for informal cooperation between law enforcement agencies, including best practice tips on how to balance operational needs with human rights such as privacy and how to keep track of the flow of information.
Always popular, Facebook, Apple and Vanuatu Digicel gave interesting presentations and took part in a panel Q&A session. These service providers gave practical tips on how they can work with justice agencies and law enforcement.
A significant part of the workshop focussed on stepping participants through the complex legal processes of mutual assistance and extradition. As the central authority, Australian Attorney-General’s Department set the scene and discussed the importance to Pacific nations of the Harare Scheme relating to mutual legal assistance in criminal matters within the Commonwealth. Cristina Schulman, Chair of the Convention Committee at the Council of Europe then gave a detailed examination of the mutual assistance, informal assistance and extradition provisions under the Budapest Convention.
Josaia Naigulevu, Public Prosecutor of Vanuatu, presented the Vanuatu Mutual Assistance Handbook and an international cooperation resource that members could access and use as a guide and/or contextualise its content according to each jurisdictions’ needs.
Best practice tips and tricks were shared by central authority representatives from New Zealand Crown Law and the US Department of Justice on how to prepare mutual legal assistance requests. Participants heard about a typical process for preparing an outgoing mutual assistance request, including what should be included in a request, and common challenges.
A highlight presentation by New Zealand Police recollected the events and cyber response to the Christchurch attacks in March 2019. While sobering to hear how quickly the attack unfolded and the tragic loss of life, it was also inspiring to hear how law enforcement, service providers and justice agencies across the world came together to share evidence and support New Zealand’s response to this terrible event.
The workshop also looked ahead to the future with presentations on how countries can directly cooperate with providers in other jurisdictions, progress towards a 2nd Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention, accessing evidence in the cloud and the future of international cooperation in this ever changing environment. Prosecutors from Australia, New Zealand and the United States spoke candidly about advocacy skills, including practical examples and advice on introducing and using electronic evidence in the courtroom.
Participants also enjoyed the networking and sharing of information and ideas through the practical group sessions. In the daily sessions, groups worked through a scenario to identify electronic evidence (including evidence located overseas), police-to-police information gathering and had a go at drafting a mutual legal assistance request. On the final day, each group presented their case and lessons learned back to the workshop which underscored the lessons of the week.
The booklet from this workshop is available now. Please contact the PILON Secretariat to obtain an electronic copy.
The PILON cybercrime working group will hold its fourth annual cybercrime workshop in Vanuatu in early May 2020. The topic focus and details are currently being worked through but it is shaping up to be another informative event with many expert speakers and participants.