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Caribbean countries sign crucial agreements in Guyana

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June 19 Georgetown Guyana: Caribbean Attorneys- General have approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Regional Security System (RSS) and non-RSS countries on a Regional Rapid Response Mechanism and the Caribbean Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Serious Criminal Matters.

At the Eleventh Special Meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee (LAC) at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, last week, officials were of the view that the treaties are critical to national security in the Region and would assist Member States to address the escalation in serious crimes, including transnational organised crime.

“It was also emphasised that work needed to be done speedily with respect to the draft extradition treaty, which is intended to buttress the efforts that would be necessary as it pertains to national security within the context of the CSME,” said a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.

The Meeting was updated on the work to draft “Sunset Legislation” in relation to Cricket World Cup 2007. The importance of the legislation to the Region successfully hosting the games was noted and it was emphasised that the Region’s Draftspersons needed to ensure that the “Sunset Legislation” complies with constitutions of the individual CARICOM Member States and do not put governments in a position where measures to be implemented could be considered to be draconian.

It was agreed that a Protocol would be developed for the treatment of immigration and customs matters during CWC 2007 and the Protocol would guide Member States in the incorporation of related matters in the “Sunset Legislation.”

The Meeting received the Report from the Seventh Meeting of the LAC Sub Committee on Harmonisation of Laws. In the Report, it was stated that there is a shortage of drafts persons in the Region and given the volume of work to be done with respect to the harmonisation of legislation, it was agreed that the CARICOM Secretariat would coordinate the setting up of a website to which Member States, in particular, Chief Parliamentary Counsel in general, would have secure access for the sharing of information.

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