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Tonga to host 32nd Pacific Islands law officer's network (PILON) annual meeting

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31 October 2013 The Attorney General’s Office is pleased to announce that it will host the 32nd Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Annual Meeting at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre in Nuku’alofa, on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 November 2013.

The PILON Meeting is the annual meeting of senior law officials of Pacific Countries, at the levels of Attorneys General, Solicitors General, Secretaries of Justice, Directors of Public Prosecutions, and Parliamentary Counsel level. The PILON Meeting will also include the Observer Members to PILON, consisting of regional and international organisations that support the work of senior law officials in the region, such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Pacific Legal Information Institute, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team, and the University of the South Pacific. 

The theme for PILON 2013 is “Domesticating International Law: Challenges and Practices”. The objective of the meeting is for senior law officials to discuss the challenges and best practices that they have experienced in their respective jurisdictions, when introducing into domestic law the various international law that their respective Governments have decided to sign up to. Such international law covers areas of current concern to Pacific Countries, such as climate change, human rights, international humanitarian law, anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. The challenges that will be discussed would be the availability of human and financial resources, limited legal expertise, collaboration with partner agencies, timing, prioritising legislation, harmonising other laws, reporting challenges, public awareness and public consultation. 

This will be the third time that Tonga will host PILON, The previous two occasions were in 1996 and 2004. The very first PILON was held in 1981 in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and was initially known as PILOM. There was no meeting in 1985.

The Pacific Countries that will be represented in the PILON meeting in Nuku’alofa include Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Other organisations that have been invited to attend include the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme, the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat, the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering, the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association, the Oceania Customs Organisation Secretariat, the Regional Office of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the NZAid. 

Under the auspices of PILON, the Attorney General’s Office will also co-host with the Australian Attorney General’s Department, on Thursday 31 October and Friday 1 November, a regional workshop on International Criminal Cooperation regarding extradition and mutual assistance requests. This workshop will focus on learning and understanding laws and procedures in Pacific Countries relating to the formal return of accused persons or convicted criminals who abscond from one country to another. The workshop will also focus on the assistance that countries can provide to each other in the investigation of crimes committed in other countries, including the recovery of proceeds of crime that have been moved from one country to another. 

In addition to the formal meeting programmes, PILON delegates will be treated to side events whilst they are in the Kingdom so that they can experience Tonga’s fascinating history, unique culture, beautiful scenery, special cuisine and warm hospitality. 

The media are invited to attend the opening of both the International Criminal Cooperation Workshop on Thursday 31 October at 9am, and the PILON Annual Meeting on Tuesday 5 November at 9am. 

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Issued by: ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE. For further information, please contact: ‘Aminiasi Kefu, Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Office Office Line: (676) 24055/24007 / Direct Line: (676) 25347 / Mobile: 7715314  Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 November 2013 11:41 )  

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