NZ to host Quintet meeting of Attorneys-General

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson will host an annual meeting of his counterparts from Australia, Canada, the United States and England, Wales and Northern Ireland in Auckland next Wednesday 8 May.

The Quintet of Attorneys-General held its first meeting in 2009. The goal is to share relevant experience and knowledge, and improve cooperation on complex and cross-border legal issues.

"Each Quintet meeting has a major topic for discussion by the Attorneys-General," Mr Finlayson said. "This year the topic is developments and best practice with respect to prosecuting crimes of sexual violence against women and children."

"This is an area of great concern because of the seriousness of crimes of sexual violence against women and children and the particular challenges to successful prosecution. It raises important cross-border issues in relation to sexual violence in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict situations, including the recent G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict."

"It is a valuable opportunity to compare notes from jurisdictions similar to our own, and look at ways to work together to solve the increasingly difficult challenges posed by globalisation to law enforcement and the courts."

Attendees will also lead discussions on individual topics, including:

Strengthening cooperation in civil and commercial matters,

Support for victims of crime;

Technology advancements in the courts, and how prosecutors are working with new technology;

Judicial appointments;

Gun violence, firearms regulation and reform in Quintet countries.

Because the Quintet meeting is taking place at the same time as the annual Strategic Alliance Group (SAG) - a meeting of representatives from law enforcement agencies which focuses on international crime and its impacts - the programme will include a joint session between the two meetings.

It is the first time the event has been hosted in New Zealand.

The attendees are:

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP - Attorney-General, England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Hon Rob Nicholson PC QC MP - Attorney-General & Minister for Justice, Canada

Hon Eric H. Holder, Jr - Attorney-General, United States of America

Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP - Attorney-General, Australia

Hon Christopher Finlayson QC MP - Attorney-General, New Zealand

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