Regional Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in the Field of Asset Recovery

106_konferencija_RAI_28_3_2018_by_VTF_Studio

28 March 2018, Sarajevo: Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) and the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE) Centre in cooperation with the UK government and OSCE, organised a Regional Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in the Field of Asset Recovery, which gathered recovery experts, prosecutors and members of judiciaries from the Southeast Europe and beyond.

The aim of the conference was to present the findings of a comparative study prepared by AIRE Centre, London, and the RAI Secretariat regarding the seizure of illegally acquired property in the Western Balkans. The analysis specifically refers to the final court judgments in cases of corruption, with a particular focus on human rights standards.

“The Study on Asset Recovery in the Western Balkans, along with the Study in other RAI jurisdictions, was conducted with the clear objective to provide a snapshot of the current state of play, identifiy common challengesas well as the shortcomings at the local levels which can be affected regionally,” said Vladan Joksimovic, Head of the RAI Secretariat.

Key finding of the study, confirmed through the conference discussion, is that the international and European standards have been to a large extent transposed into the national legislation of the Western Balkans jurisdictions. However, implementation of these standards must be improved.

“The study validates the need to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies and prosecution services to systematically conduct financial investigations parallel to criminal investigations. It urges for more consistent implementation of European legal standards and important safeguards contained in them”, said Biljana Braithwaite, Program Manager for the Western Balkans AIRE Centre in London. Braithwaite also pointed to the finding which stressed a growing demand to use international co-operation mechanisms during the asset recovery processes, with countries engaging in asset recovery beyond its borders.

The participants of the conference also presented experiences from United Kingdom, Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova and Romania, as well as key international instruments that regulate this area

The conference is part of the project “Combating corruption in the Western Balkans and Strengthening Regional Cooperation in the field of Asset Recovery”, which is being implemented with support from the UK Government and from the OSCE.

The project analyzes the effectiveness, efficiency and adherence to human rights in criminal justice systems of Southeast Europe in relation to seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime in order to propose joint action at regional level.

Please find attached the  Conference Pack with Agenda, List of Participants and other relevant details.

 

Photo credit: VTF studio

Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Croatia

Macedonia

Moldova

Montenegro

Romania

Serbia