Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Garth Wilkin is representing the Federation at the Commonwealth Law Ministers’ Meeting in Balaclava, Mauritius under the theme: “Strengthening international cooperation through the rule of law and the protection of human rights.”
The primary objective of the Meeting, held every three years, is to advance Commonwealth consensus and cooperation and to enable Law Ministers to set clear directions on a range of legal, rule of law and justice issues of mutual interest to member countries.
The Attorney General stated that meetings of this nature bode well for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
“These meetings are extremely important for small island states like ours, because we lack the human capacity to develop all of the necessary complex systems and laws to preserve and enhance the rule of law,” said Attorney-General Wilkin. “For example, we have no National Computer Emergency Response (“CER”) Structure, a need given the proliferation of international cybercrimes. I promise to come back home with the best practice policies and model law to implement a CER Team and National Cybercrime Response Plan with the assistance of Hon. Konris Maynard, Minister of ICT.”
The Attorney-General also held discussions with the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, of Rwanda about various legal systems that can be adapted to serve our people in St Kitts and Nevis, particularly their innovative Legal Aid and Criminal Investigation systems and negotiated technical support from Farzana Nazir-Mohammed, Director of the Criminal Justice Unit of the Ministry of Legal Affairs in Trinidad & Tobago, for our Criminal Justice Reform project which he initiated since taking office.
“Those are just day one benefits. I anticipate even more productive conversations and commitments over the next few days as we discuss various topics, including People-Centered Justice; The Future of Our Courts; Law, Climate Change and Food Security; Commonwealth Anti-Corruption Benchmarks; Cybersecurity for Elections: A Commonwealth Guide on Best Practice; and Freedom of Expression and the Role of the Media, to name a few,” he said. “We must piggyback on the intellectual advancements and model structures of our Commonwealth brothers and sisters so that we can create bespoke systems that benefit our people.”
Law Ministers and Senior Legal Officers from other Commonwealth Caribbean territories are present: Belize, BVI, Grenada, Jamaica, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, as well as representatives of the 56 independent countries that make up the Commonwealth in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific.