Twenty-two Mongolians visiting Vancouver this week are experiencing more than just a break from minus-28-degree weather. The delegation of justice officials is visiting police stations, courthouses and other justice agencies to see firsthand how Canada's criminal justice system works.
Mongolia is undergoing significant justice reform and after reviewing models from countries all around the world, it has chosen to consider reforms based on the Canadian criminal justice system.
Two crown prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice are playing a leading role in the tour, which is hosted by the Justice Education Society (JES) and the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP).
As part of the tour, the delegation will gain knowledge about criminal procedures and court administration and are meeting with police, prosecutors, court administrators, judges, defence counsel, legal services and public legal education providers. They are also sitting in on some criminal trials.
The delegation will continue its tour by meeting with federal justice officials in Ottawa next week.
Media have an opportunity to interview spokespersons for the Mongolian delegation, JES and the IAP as well as a crown prosecutor who was instrumental in helping the Mongolians select the Canadian justice system model.
The media availability is on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Justice Education Society offices in Vancouver located at 260-800 Hornby St. (entrance off Smithe St.)
Why It Matters:
It is extremely rare for a country to completely reform its justice system, and Canadians should be proud that Mongolia looks to our system as an ideal model for its country to consider. These reforms replace a justice system in Mongolia that is a legacy of its past relationship with the Soviet Union.
The Ministry of Justice, the JES international program and IAP played a key role in Mongolia choosing the Canadian justice system. The Ministry of Justice and the IAP began working with the Mongolian government in 2012 when a small delegation of Mongolian prosecutors came to B.C. for two weeks to examine the Canadian justice system.
The tour was led by B.C. prosecutor Wendy Kavanagh. Following the study tour, she travelled to Mongolia to participate in a two-week exchange and training trip.
In March 2013, the IAP entered into a partnership with the JES. Through this partnership, the JES became involved with the Mongolian justice system reform initiative.
- The JES international program has three components:
- Criminal Justice Strengthening is a program that strengthens the rule of law in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras and has done work Ethiopia. By training police, prosecutors and judges, the program is helping justice better respond to serious violent crimes in Central America and crime against women in Ethiopia.
- Public Legal Education, a program that provides technical support in the production of clear, easily-understood legal information for marginalized groups in Vietnam.
- Public engagement.
- The IAP is the only worldwide organization of prosecutors and has over 130 organizational members from more than 90 different jurisdictions, representing every continent of the world. Wendy Stephen, a B.C. prosecutor, is also a vice-president of IAP.
- The IAP Prosecutors' Exchange Program was established in 2009. It is a worldwide program with 60 prosecution agencies from all over the globe, and was established and is currently headed by B.C. prosecutor Nicola Mahaffy. The program encourages and facilitates prosecutor exchanges and one-way temporary placements between different countries and legal jurisdictions.
- Mongolia is the most sparsely populated independent country in the world, with a population of around 2.9 million people
- The annual average temperature in Ulaanbaatar is 0°C, making it the world's coldest capital city. Today, its temperature is minus 28°C.
To find out more about the JES International program, visit: http://www.justiceeducation.ca/international
To find out more about the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between JES and the IAP, visit: http://www.justiceeducation.ca/international/newsletter/fall-2013
To learn more about the International Association of Prosecutors visit: http://www.iap-association.org/default.aspx
Ministry of Justice
Government Communications and Public Engagement
International Program Manager
Justice Education Society