In July 2017, two more experienced appellate advocates from the California Department of Justice, Anthony DaSilva and Bruce Slavin, led a three-day litigation skills workshop at the Office of the Attorney General, in Lusaka, Zambia for 47 participants from the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Justice and National Prosecution Authority. The meeting was officially opened by Zambia’s Minister of Justice, Honorable Givens Lubinda, and televised on national TV. The course was well received, with the instructors receiving a standing ovation from the group at the closing ceremony. CWAG representatives also attended events with the United States Ambassador to Zambia, Eric Schultz; Vice Chancellor of Cavendish University, Professor Mutale Musonda and his faculty; and the President of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), Ms. Linda Kasonde.
In June 2017, two experienced trial attorneys from the California Department of Justice, Ronald Matthias and Karen Bovarnik, led a three-day litigation skills workshop at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya, with government and private attorneys as well as law students.
Pretoria, South Africa
The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) partnered with Justice College, Department of Justice & Constitutional Development of South Africa to conduct an advanced trial advocacy training course from 29 May to 2 June 2017. Steve Marshall, Attorney General of Alabama and Alice Lustre, Deputy Attorney General, Attorney General’s Office, San Francisco, California conducted the training. The Program combined lecture, demonstration, individual practice, and peer learning. The course culminated in a mock trial.
The program included course delegates from around of South Africa – Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga. Participants included prosecutors, legal educators from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, state law advisors, and advocates.
Romeo Adams, Deputy Director General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, and Daven Moodley, Acting Head of Justice College attended portions of the course. Markus Green, Assistant General Counsel for Pfizer, gave a brief presentation on day one and spoke about CWAG and its outreach program in Africa. John Edozie, Partner, Madu, Edozie & Madu, New York and Lagos, also attended sessions.
Steve Marshall TV CNBC Africa June 2017
Steve Marshall SaFm Radio May 2017
CWAG Training June 2017
CWAG, in conjunction with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), hosted a three-day workshop on Oral Advocacy in Nigeria. The workshop hosted prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, external counsel and lawyers to offer sufficient knowledge, depth and expertise required to effect positive change presenting their cases in court. CWAG instructors Scott Erickson of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, and William Wynhoff of the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office covered a wealth of topics relating to oral advocacy, including direct examination; cross examination and impeachment by inconsistent statement; presenting evidence; arguing motions, objections and hearings; final written addresses. Interactive presentations included case studies, practical sessions and mock trials.
In conjunction with CWAG, Githu Muigai, Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, hosted one-day seminar in Nairobi on April 2017, to deliberate on the fight against human trafficking, smuggling and international organized crimes. The Attorneys General of Illinois and Washington, Lisa Madigan and Karl Racine, shared their experiences, challenges, and best practice with Kenya. Ms. Madigan said trafficking of young girls for sexual exploitation internationally tops all forms of transnational crimes and generates more money than drug trafficking.
Secretary of Public Prosecutions in Kenya, Dorcas Oduor commented on the difficulties in tracking such criminals. “Just like investigations, prosecution of human trafficking and international organized crimes require specialized training, skills and expertise. Where this is lacking, cases may be lost due to poorly drafted charges, inefficient presentation of evidence or submissions made by prosecutors,” Oduor said.
The forum addressed aims to improve cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes and to build a network of practitioners to enhance the fight against them.
Trafficking in persons remains the fastest growing crime in the world, effecting more than 20 million Kenyans. The Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act, Chapter 61 was enacted in 2010, and came into force in 2012. However, law enforcement and judicial officers were not properly sensitized on the law, especially with regard to the victims. Frequent forms of exploitation in Kenya include sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced begging, and early marriage. Most victims suffer in silence because of lack of confidence in law enforcement and the judicial systems. However, the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions, Attorney General and the Judicial system will soon be launching an International Crimes Division at the High Court, which will bring all these cases under one roof. The specialized unit will have authority to try and punish cases of sexual and gender-based violence, war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and human trafficking.
CWAG Africa Alliance Partnership in conjunction with the Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), hosted a one-day workshop on Human Trafficking Prosecution and Victims’ Fund & Protection in Calabar, Nigeria, in February 2017. At the invitation of the Attorney General of Cross River State, Honorable Joe Abang, CWAG conducted a successful event with 75 participants from the local bar and government agencies. CWAG representatives Gregory Ferbrache and Nathan Mutter and NAPTIP representatives Ijeoma Amugo, Peter Essien and Tolulola Odugbesan presented.
Ijeoma Amugo, NAPTIP Chief Legal Officer, focused on informing attendees of recent developments to combat and prosecution of human trafficking in Nigeria. Amugo highlighted the various local laws put in place to aid in curbing this crime.
CWAG’s Greg Ferbrache, Division Director of the Justice Division, and Nathan Mutter, Section Chief of Special Prosecutions for the Utah Attorney General’s Office, used trafficking examples in Utah to show how the U.S. fights such instances, covering penalties and indicators of child trafficking. They presented an interactive case study of the Victor Rax case as an opportunity for participants to discuss this infamous human trafficking case.
Peter Essien, NAPTIP Chief Intelligence Officer, highlighted the importance of systematic evidence collection in prosecuting human trafficking.
Tolulola Odugbesan, Chief Intelligence Assistance and Head of Non-Governmental Organization Unit, Counselling and Rehabilitation Department of NAPTIP, presented on the topic “Protection of Victim Witness: Issues and Consequences.” Mrs. Odugbesan gave a riveting presentation, laced with real-life, vivid examples of human trafficking cases and the trauma the victims suffer.
Honourable Justice Eyo Ita of the High Court of Cross River State commended CWAG for its anti-Human Trafficking efforts. He encouraged Nigerian prosecutors to learn from the example given in the Rax case study by giving more time to permit extensive investigation before making an arrest, as this will help to ensure a successful prosecution.
Pretoria, South Africa
CWAG Executive Director Karen White met with South Africa Minister of Justice Michael Masutha, to begin a dialogue on establishing a robust interchange and discuss areas of collaboration between our organizations, including support for the rule of law and combatting transnational criminal activities such as human trafficking, money laundering, and weapons trafficking. Both parties committed to joint efforts to move the relationship forward.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes keynoted the conference “Effective Public Prosecution and Defense: Essentials for Success,” in Lagos, Nigeria, in December 2016. The event was organized by Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN, Senior Partner of the firm Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors and held at the Lagos Business School. General Reyes spoke of his experiences fighting human trafficking in the Americas, and led a discussion of the scope of the issue and efforts to combat trafficking and other crimes in Nigeria. Utah Chief Federal Deputy & General Counsel Parker Douglas led an exchange of ideas on prosecuting public corruption. Other speakers included Markus Green, Assistant General Counsel of Pfizer, Inc., Fola Arthur-Worrey, former Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, and Bayero Davi, Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution.
During his time in Lagos, General Reyes visited the Tarkwa Bay Montessori School, where some 180 students study under headmaster Olatunde Funmilayo and her team, in a cinder block school with no electricity or running water, but with great enthusiasm.
Pretoria, South Africa
As an initial joint project, the Justice College in Pretoria, South Africa, was the site of a week-long oral advocacy skills course, for 27 criminal and civil litigators from the Ministry of Justice from around the country. California Deputy Attorney General Alice Lustre and Alabama Assistant Attorney General Megan Kirkpatrick led the course, which was organized on the ground by CWAG representative Kim Robinson. Dr. Linda Meyer, Director of the Justice College, and the other attendees participated in a lively exchange of experiences and perspectives of our two justice systems.