Declaration will help fight international organised crime

  • Christopher Finlayson

A declaration following a meeting of Attorneys-General in Washington DC this week will lead to greater cooperation between New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom in fighting organised cross-border crime, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced.

The five Attorneys-General from the "Quintet" of common law countries met over the weekend to share ideas and deal with issues of mutual concern, including national security, countering violent extremism, organised crime, and legal cooperation.

"The shared legal traditions and common values of the quintet countries mean we are uniquely placed to deal with these important issues from a joint and cooperative perspective," Mr Finlayson said.

The five governments represented at the meeting agreed to a declaration undertaking to create a framework for Quintet members to cooperate to combat organised crime, consistent with their own domestic legal and administrative systems.

The declaration includes undertakings to establish arrangements for sharing information on policy and legislative responses to, and criminal intelligence on, organised crime. The members also undertake to work more closely to co-operate on capacity building and training.

The first Quintet meeting of Attorneys-General was held in London last year. This year's meeting followed up a work programme that was agreed as a result of those talks.

Mr Finlayson led a discussion on co-operation in international criminal law proceedings in relation to extradition, refugee or domestic criminal proceedings involving allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.