Da Nang, July 20-21, 2023 and Ho Chi Minh city, July 24-25,2023, Wildlife Conservation Society – Viet Nam program (WCS Viet Nam) in collaboration with the Department of International Cooperation and Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (Department 13), Supreme People’s Procuracy (SPP) of Viet Nam conducted two (02) training courses on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) in criminal matters in Viet Nam.
Representative of Department 13 coordinated the discussion session, Da Nang, July 2023
Nearly 30 delegates from the Provincial People's Procuracy in the Central and Central Highlands areas of Viet Nam attended the training course in Da Nang, while more than 30 delegates from the Provincial People's Procuracy of the Southern region of Viet Nam attended the event in Ho Chi Minh City.
Group discussion, Ho Chi Minh City, July 2023
During these training courses, the participants were introduced about the Viet Nam’s legal framework on MLA in criminal matters including commonly encountered obstacles in the practice of MLA in criminal matters in Viet Nam. Training content then guided participants the use of a handbook for handling MLA requests. In addition, participants were updated with the situation of wildlife trafficking in Viet Nam, cases with wildlife sourced from other countries in Asia and Africa, and the participation of Vietnamese in wildlife cases overseas. With the guidance from SPP’s Department 13, participants practiced developing MLA requests to gather evidence from Mozambique, as an example of a country often involved in these cases, to prosecute a wildlife crime case in Viet Nam.
Especially, attending these training courses, participants were shared experiences of handling MLA requests from representatives of the Attorney-General Chambers of Singapore and the Office of the Attorney General of Thailand as well as the case study on the regional cooperation in wildlife criminal matters in Eastern Africa presented by Samantha de Vries, PhD Candidate, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
The two training courses which aim to enhance the knowledge and skills of the provincial prosecutors and other relevant judicial officials in handling wildlife-related cases, especially transnational wildlife trafficking cases are organized within the project “the Scaling up efforts to counter wildlife trafficking in Viet Nam” funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) United States Department of State, and the project of “Improving the effectiveness of multi-sectoral collaboration in combating illegal wildlife trade from Africa to and within Viet Nam” implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), combines the expertise and resources of five German ministries, international organizations and NGOs.