Attorneys General apparently (not Attorney Generals).
Seriously, though, the UK Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, and the Attorneys General of ten British Overseas Territories (Bermuda; the British Antarctic Territory; the British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Montserrat; Pitcairn; the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia; and the Turks & Caicos Islands), the Crown Counsel of St Helena, and General Counsel of the British Indian Ocean Territory, along with their counterparts from the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey and Jersey and representatives from the US and Canadian Departments of Justice recently met in the Turks and Caicos Islands from 20 – 22 September 2016 to discuss a range of topics relating to the rule of law and administration of justice in the Territories and to enhance mutual cooperation between the jurisdictions.
Highlights included discussion of:
- the extension to Anguilla and the Cayman Islands of the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);
- legislation for same sex marriage in St. Helena, the British Antarctic Territory, Jersey and Guernsey;
- the appointment of a new Criminal Justice Advisor for the Territories, based in Miami;
- arrangements that will come into force later this year to improve extradition arrangements between the Territories and third countries.
- the UK’s commitment “to fully involving the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies as we prepare for negotiations to leave the EU to ensure their interests are taken into account”.
More specifically, the UK Solicitor General announced that the UK has committed to:
- Work with Territory governments to take forward the legislative changes necessary to deliver the political agreements reached ahead of this year’s UK Anti-Corruption Summit to enable automatic and timely UK law enforcement access to Beneficial Ownership data by June 2017, supporting international efforts to tackle criminal financing.
- Encourage the prioritisation of collaborative work to enable extension to the Territories of international conventions for tackling bribery and corruption, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), where they have not already been extended, including the adoption of Codes of Conduct for Ministers where these do not exist.
- Support the work of the Overseas Territories Criminal Justice Advisor to build capacity for reform of the criminal justice system and improve efficiency in the investigation and prosecution of crime, supported by UK programme funds where necessary.
- Promote reform of outdated mental health legislation in the Territories, recognising where efforts are already ongoing, and to seek an end to the use of prisons as a place of safety for those with mental health conditions.
- Further enhance cooperation on child safeguarding through continued collaboration and plans for signature of the Overseas Territories Memorandum of Understanding.
- Support the Territories to achieve extension of core Human Rights conventions where these have not been extended and to conduct a review of outstanding reservations against core UN human rights treaties ahead of the UN Periodic Review of the UK in Geneva in 2017.