In Remarks at Columbia Law School, Assistant Attorney General Breuer discusses the role of the Criminal Division in promoting the global development of the Rule of Law through the placement of Resident Legal Advisors in countries all over the world.
“The work of the Criminal Division does not stop at our borders, however. It is often said that democracy is the United States’ greatest export. Well, the core of democracy is the Rule of Law, and the Criminal Division is its greatest ambassador. Through Resident Legal Advisors stationed in 37 countries around the world, the Criminal Division provides the countries most in need of our help with advice and guidance on how to establish and sustain fair and transparent justice systems. The importance of this work cannot be overstated; promoting the impartial administration of justice around the world protects our global community from the lawlessness that endangers basic human rights and our own national security.
Since 1991, the Criminal Division has placed Resident Legal Advisors and other personnel in countries all over the world to support the global development of the Rule of Law. RLAs, as they are known, assist host countries – like Iraq in the Middle East; Liberia and Zambia in Africa; Afghanistan and Indonesia in Asia; Bosnia and Serbia in Eastern Europe; and Mexico and Colombia in South America, just to name a few – by assessing criminal justice institutions and procedures; reviewing and drafting legislation and criminal enforcement policy; and improving the skills of prosecutors, investigators, and judges….”
Remarks by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer at Columbia Law School, October 7, 2009
In Testimony before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Assistant Attorney General Breuer discusses OPDAT’s assistance to countries in the Balkans in the areas of war crimes and human rights.
“The Criminal Division’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training section
(OPDAT) and the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP)
take the lead for the Department in providing training and assistance in criminal justice sector
reform and development. OPDAT has continued to work closely with the U.S. Ambassador-at-
Large for War Crimes Issues on efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation on war crimes cases
among successor countries to the former Yugoslavia, most notably between Serbia and Bosnia.
In June of this year, for example, OPDAT facilitated a meeting between the Serbian War Crimes
Prosecutor and the Bosnian Chief State Prosecutor to discuss mechanisms for mproving
cooperation between those two nations in war crimes cases. The assistance that OPDAT, OSI,
and other Division components have provided in the former Yugoslavia, as elsewhere, is given
with the goal of increasing the ability of these countries and jurisdictions to prosecute cases
involving genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. This capability is especially
important now that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is
progressing towards its U.N. Security Council-endorsed closure and has transferred a number of
cases to the individual countries in the region for investigation and prosecution….”
Statement of Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, October 6, 2009
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