Ministers of Justice sign JVO Decision List

June 26, 2023 2:00 pm

Following a highly successful Judicial Four-Party Consultation (JVO) Conference on Thursday, June 22, 2023, many participants expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the discussions and with the organization of the conference. The four Ministers of Justice of the Kingdom, having achieved consensus on the decisions coming out of the JVO discussions, on Friday, June 23, 2023, dedicated time to formally sign the JVO decision list before bidding farewell to one another. The signing of the JVO decision list took place on the grounds of the airport which was made possible by PJIA and its partners.

One of the key topics discussed during the JVO discussions was migration. To address the challenges associated with migration effectively, it was proposed and agreed upon that a plan would be presented at the next JVO for the establishment of a Board of Directors of Immigration with representatives from the different countries, to improve collaboration amongst the services in the countries.

Another important topic covered in the conference was the applications of sanctions particularly as it relates to Forensic Care. The JVO welcomed the work that was done on this subject and indicated that it looked forward to the development of a plan that considers the legal and financial implications for the realization of basic facilities for Forensic Care on all islands.

Addressing the capacity challenges that the Caribbean countries experience in combatting transnational and organized crime, the JVO endorsed the proposal put forth to analyze the causes and potential solutions for the capacity challenges, including a deeper analysis per country, the results of which will be presented at the next JVO in 2024. The proposal of organizing a conference, with the aim of obtaining clarity about the causes and solutions, including financial aspects of the judicial chain, could also count on support from the four Ministers.

The JVO also discussed the progress made in further securing and strengthening regional police cooperation in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom through the Board of Police Chiefs, which consists of the Chiefs of Police of the Police forces of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius). Many of the positive developments coming out of this cooperative body have been made possible by support from the Netherlands and its National Police.

The four Ministers of Justice expressed much enthusiasm when they were informed of the encouraging results of the pilot ‘Prosecutor in Training Program’ at the Public Prosecutors Services in the Caribbean countries. This pilot aims to train more prosecutors that hail from the Caribbean countries. Discussions between the Attorney General and the Ministers in the JVO of 2024 will determine the project’s continuation.

Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency was first placed on the JVO agenda by Minister Richardson during a previous JVO where it was agreed upon that a working group would be established, to closely study the issue. The advice of the working group to effectively address the issue by not only focusing on repression but also on prevention and doing so with partners in the social domain, healthcare, and judicial domain and through public-private partnerships was endorsed by the Ministers. The Ministers hereby emphasized the importance of providing funds and expertise similar to what is aimed at repressive measures.

Under the chairmanship of Minister Richardson, the JVO provided a platform for fruitful discussions, resulting in a signed JVO decision list and constructive plans, and a clear vision going forward. Minister Richardson stated: “The commitment of my colleague Ministers and the other stakeholders involved in the JVO, highlights the dedication that we all have towards enhancing law enforcement, crime prevention, and making our communities safer for everyone. With the momentum gained from this JVO, I look forward to making significant strides toward the next JVO that takes place on our beautiful sister island of Curacao in January of 2024”.