Communiqué – The Quintet of Attorneys General meets to discuss shared priorities
The 8th meeting of the Quintet of Attorneys General was held on June 27, 2017, in Ottawa. The meetings of the Quintet of Attorneys General, which occur once a year, allow for the Attorneys General of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America to discuss issues of common interest. During their day-long meeting this year, Attorneys General held productive discussions, shared key issues and took the opportunity to hold bilateral talks with their counterparts. Additionally, on June 26, Attorneys General joined the representatives for the Five Country Ministerial Meeting to discuss topics, such as information sharing and cybersecurity. The deliberations of the joint session are reported by that Communiqué.
The following was discussed during their Quintet meetings:
- Over-Representation of Indigenous Peoples in the Criminal Justice System
- Attorneys General discussed the challenges in addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system. Recognizing the urgent need to address this issue, they agreed on the need for governments facing this issue to work in collaboration with Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities towards reducing their involvement in the criminal justice system. In discussing policy, programs and legislative initiatives to improve outcomes for Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, they recognized in particular the usefulness of restorative justice processes in reducing recidivism rates. The Attorney General of Canada invited her colleagues and their experts to participate in a United Nations meeting of experts on restorative justice in criminal matters to be held in Ottawa in November 2017. Attorneys General requested their officials to exchange information and best practices to address these issues and report back to them at their next meeting.
- Trans-border Access to Data
- Attorneys General expressed their support for agreements and legislative measures to enable more efficient access to data across borders. They agreed that they should also continue to engage proactively with service providers to facilitate access to that data.
- Intelligence and Evidence in Legal Proceedings
- Attorneys General discussed the current legal frameworks in each Quintet state for managing intelligence and evidence in legal proceedings. They discussed the key challenges and successes within each approach and tasked their officials to continue to share information in this regard, under the leadership of the Attorney General of New Zealand.
- International law of self-defence and imminence
- Attorneys General noted recent international statements made by the Attorneys General of the United Kingdom and of Australia regarding the application of the international law requirements for self-defence.
- International cooperation between Quintet states and other states
- Attorneys General shared their respective experiences aimed at improving efficiencies and cooperation among Quintet states and with other states, and in particular affirmed the importance of observing a rules-based international order to advance the rule of law.
- Next Meeting
- The other Attorneys General accepted the invitation of the Attorney General of Australia to hold their next meeting in Australia.
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