Winding down its two-year program in Belize, during its final months of programming in the country, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) placed a particular emphasis on activities that will ensure sustainability.
ABA ROLI helped organize an April 20–22 retreat for Belize’s magistracy, convening magistrates and their staff from around the country and allowing them to compare best practices and to receive trainings. Training and discussions addressed bail-related judicial considerations, public service regulations, judicial ethics, human rights, gender sensitivity, judgment writing and strategic planning.
Complementing its previous anti-money laundering trainings for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges, ABA ROLI also created a brochure to educate citizens on financial crimes. Presented in plain language, the brochure defines money laundering, explains its stages to help the public recognize the crime and advises citizens on steps they should take if they suspect money laundering. In addition to presenting best customer-relations practices that help banks prevent money laundering, the brochure also provides contact information for police, the Financial Intelligence Unit and Crime Stoppers Belize, encouraging the public to report money laundering. ABA ROLI distributed the brochures to all banks and major credit unions as well as to other financial institutions in Belize.
To alleviate the need for key legal reference books among police prosecutors—which put them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis defense lawyers who had them—ABA ROLI purchased and distributed Archbold books (popular legal resource books) to police prosecutors. ABA ROLI helped organize trainings to help the police prosecutors make the best use of the books. Additionally, ABA ROLI developed a transnational crimes manual, which will guide justice sector operators in addressing human trafficking, money laundering and drug trafficking offences.
ABA ROLI concluded its programs in Belize in June.
View the related video below to learm more about ABA ROLI's work in Belize.