Global Initiative & Legal Atlas are excited to invite you to our soft launch of Legal Atlas, a new platform for global legal intelligence. Jim Wingard, JD and Maribel Rodriguez, LLM of Legal Atlas, will present the tool and its use for TOCLaw, analyzing environmental crime legislation. Created in partnership with Global Initiative, this topic will be available for free public access. They will also introduce the platform’s use for a separate topic on wildlife trade laws.
They will be debuted at the upcoming CITES Standing Committee Meeting in November.
If you are attending this SC, please do come to our side event on:
Tuesday, November 28th at 12:35 pm
contact person for organizational aspects: Amanda Rude
Summary of Launch Event:
Jim & Maribel (Legal Atlas) presented. Iris gave the intro and the background to GITOC. Around 40 people attended, many personally invited. We had the US del represented by a DOJ official, many international NGOs, Spain, Israel, Interpol, World Bank, NatGeo, and more.
Jim first walked through the basics of the platform, how it worked, and the different types of data that is captured (hard data and conceptual data). He opened it up to questions within 15-20 minutes to make it more interactive. The main examples were from both the environmental crime framework and the WLT framework, generally of African countries.
Maribel then presented some of her interesting findings using graphics- pulled facts from the TOCLaw framework. These graphics were sent to GITOC to use in reports. One example was that only around 10% of African countries have a dedicated organized crime law, but around 88% have liability for environmental crime through anti money laundering statues. This shows the unused potential or opportunity in laws that already exist to shape prosecution and investigative strategy. She specifically brought up John Sellar’s point about this (and one of his main points in advising us about the usefulness of this project).
The presentation ended with more opportunity for questions and mention of contributing partnerships and beta testing in the future. Many approached us afterward to talk more about possibilities. When Jim asked the room who would use this tool in their work- every person raised their hands. Many must have been quite enthused as State party officials and colleagues who couldn’t attend asked us about the tool and the event, saying they heard great things. Some asked for private one-on-one previews later in the day and week.
Questions asked during the presentation:
• Will this include court decisions (WWF) – Yes it will include the seminal cases in the future
• Official translations of the laws, where do you get them translated, etc. (US DOJ)
• Use for training and capacity building programs for customs and law enforcement (WAZA, former UNEP)
• How will it be made available? How will users access it? Cost and budget (US DOJ)
• Judges and prosecutors sometimes do not know the law in their own country, do they also have trouble accessing their own national laws? (EAL)
• Will this show the systems of laws, hierarchies, which law in a country takes precedent, which countries are civil and which are common law countries (WPSI)
• Animal welfare legislation compilation to come in at some point? (helps for seizures, sanctuaries, etc.) (AWI)
Partnership Ideas (Approached post event)
• Rachel – UK FCO: Arranging the next London IWT Conference (London Oct 2018) and wants to have a serious crime/money laundering/corruption & associated crimes focus (in re IWT). The 9 month build up to the conference will be a lot of press and thinks this tool will be perfect for debuting at a pre-conference event and perhaps used at the conference itself (for example to show the money laundering facts). This way they could show Parties what legislation is there and what needs to be done rather than making more vague promises.
Ivory Stockpile Management System
Whether or not to make the Stop Ivory developed stockpile management information system available to all Parties on the CITES website (They’ve currently deployed it in 11 countries)
• Vietnam, South Africa, China, Namibia… oppose
• US & the usual support for transparency
(recs in doc adopted A-D)
Thailand makes recommendation to include information on live Asian elephants.
Cybercrime working group formed- Legal Atlas attempting to get on the WG – Kenya is the chair
ICCWC Anti Money Laundering Side Event
Asset recovery, reporting AML obligations
Detection- mobilize financial expertise within FIU to discover ML methods associated with wildlife crime
UNODC/ USAID PROTECT training program in Africa- Kenya
• Real life simulation case was most effective
• Supporting KWS with capacity and training
o KWS has prioritized:
Creating a whistleblower center
Empower local communities
Hold officers accountable
Offer option for anonymous reporting
Most things had working groups formed
Great Apes Working group NGO Members:
Traffic, WCS, WAZA, Wildlife Impact, Born Free, FAO, CMS, IUCN