GIABA Enhances the Capacities of the Superior Court Judges of ECOWAS Countries in the United States of America
The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) organized an International Study Tours for West African superior court judges from 7-11 August, 2017. The International Study Tour, which held in Washington DC and Baltimore, U.S.A., was coordinated by the Washington DC-based International Law Institute (ILI).
The Study Tour covered all the anglophone countries of ECOWAS, namely: The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. This capacity building event is the 2nd in the series of international study tours for judges of superior courts. Following the success recorded in the maiden edition of the study tours to Minnesota, USA and to Paris, France, in 2012, it became expedient that the programme be expanded to increase knowledge and reach.
Group Photograph of participants at the International Study Tour for Superior Court Judges of ECOWAS (Anglophone)
A key objective achived by the study tour was a deepening of the knowledge of the Judges in the adjudication of economic and financial crimes and related cases. In particular, the event deepened the awareness of the participants in the nature and pattern of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF), thus increasing the number of Judges with sound AML/CFT knowledge across the region. Also, this engagement increased visibility for GIABA within the International Community.
Highlights of the Study Tour include: study-visit to the District Court of Maryland in Baltimore, where the participants had interactions with Judges and heads of court; practical demonstration of the usage of modern paperless court was undertaken and online management of cases and motion filing were succinctly delivered. During the one week programme, participants had extensive interactions with investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), prosecutors, legal luminaries, judges and international development agencies, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This particular study tour is a step forward, which will result in a long term impact on effective and efficient adjudication of economic and financial crimes in the region. It is the expectation of GIABA that, as a result of increased knowledge, the region will secure more successes in ML/TF case management and convictions.