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JusTRAC+ Community of Practice (CoP) Meetings focused on the Nexus of Transnational Crime and Corruption

CoP Meeting #1

Aizkraukles Banka (ABLV) Case Study

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM (US Eastern)
View the ABLV Case Study

The meeting offered participants an opportunity to gain experiential insights to inform their work and to delve deeper into ways of addressing the issue of international money laundering by reviewing a case study which is one of the components in the JusTRAC+ Toolkit focused on Countering Corruption-Enabled Transnational Crime. The main author of the case study, the Honorable Richard G. Stearns presented the study involving a Latvian bank formally known as Aizkraukles Banka (ABLV). 

Judge Stearns is a U.S. District Judge in Massachusetts, and an immediate past member of the United States Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations. In addition to discussing the ABLV case study, Judge Stearns engaged community members to explore how the study can be best utilized in their work.

Welcome Remarks were provided by Mary Margaret Dineen, Director of ABA ROLI's Global Programs Division.

Mary Greer, Senior Criminal Law Advisor at ABA ROLI, gave an Overview of JusTRAC+ Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) Toolkit and Case Study Component.   

Omar Badawi, Attorney Advisor for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and JusTRAC+ Program Liaison, gave an introduction to the ABLV Case Study. Then the Honorable Richard G. Stearns, U.S. District Court Judge of Massachusetts, presented the ABLV Case Study.

Followed was a Q&A Discussion and the CoP meeting concluded with Closing Remarks and a Mentimeter Survey.

Judge Richard G. Stearns has served as a United States District Court judge since 1994. In light of his prior experience as a Department of Justice attorney prosecuting crimes of terrorism and espionage, he serves as a rule of law advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies. In that capacity, he has lectured and consulted with officials and judges in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Southern and Eastern Europe and the Baltics, including Latvia where the ABLV case study is based. He is a past member of the United States Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations. 

Omar Badawi currently serves as an Attorney Advisor at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and staff to the United States Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations.  

CoP Meeting #2

Corruption-facilitated Environmental and Pollution-related Transnational Organized Crime

Wednesday, May 26, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM (US Eastern)
View the Meeting Report
View the Meeting Presentation

Users joined distinguished panelists from the USG to explore and gain insights on the webinar topic – Corruption-facilitated Environmental and Pollution-related Transnational Organized Crime. There is fertile ground in the USG for addressing transnational organized crime (TOC) given its negative impact on the Biden Administration’s stated priorities of anti-corruption, national security, and climate change. Consistent with the Administration’s efforts at the recent Climate Summit and beyond, highlighting strategies for addressing corruption-facilitated environmental and pollution-related transnational organized crime illustrates common challenges in the nexus area and provides a starting point for shared learning and coordinated action for both TOC and climate change.

Mary Greer, Senior Criminal Law Advisor at ABA ROLI, provided Welcoming Remarks. The next segment was Setting the Stage: Addressing Corruption-Facilitated Environmental and Pollution-Related Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) and Identifying Common Challenges in the Nexus Area. Steve Wolfson, Senior Attorney from the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and JusTRAC+ Liaison, provided an introduction; while Melanne A. Civic, Assistant General Counsel from the International Environmental Law Practice Group and Office of General Counsel at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, provided remarks.

Afterwards, a discussion was moderated by Melanne A. Civic, and the discussants were Justin Oesterreich, Assistant Director for Investigations of the Criminal Investigation Division at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Joseph Poux, Deputy Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Mark Romley, Regional Resident Legal Advisor (Laos) of the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The meeting wrapped up with a Q&A and Discussion session, followed by Closing Remarks and a Mentimeter Survey.

CoP Meeting #3

White Paper on Strengthening Coordination in Support of the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption

Tuesday, February 28, 2023
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM (US Eastern)
View the Meeting Report and Presentation

JusTRAC+ presented the White Paper on Strengthening Coordination in Support of the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption. 

In furtherance of the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) Justice Sector Training, Research, and Coordination Plus (JusTRAC+) Program hosted a series of virtual interagency roundtables to explore how to strengthen coordination, both within the U.S. Government (USG) and with external stakeholders, to enable the Strategy’s success.  The Interagency Roundtable Series took place in April 2022, and included senior officials from the National Security Council (NSC), State Department, USAID, Justice Department (DOJ), Treasury Department, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

The White Paper on Strengthening Coordination in Support of the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption is the product of this JusTRAC+ Roundtable Series and is intended to help support the USG modernization process required to achieve the national security objectives of the Strategy, by organizing the Roundtable participants’ recommendations and best practices into 2  a new single framework. The proposed framework is designed to help enhance collective ownership of the Strategy by responsible departments and agencies. It is built on seven desired interagency outcomes that include concerted and sustained action to conduct joint analysis, integrate tools and co-create innovative solutions to meet national security threats. It is intended to help to foster a new discipline of national security and anti-corruption and instill collaboration as a norm across government. The seven processes described in the White Paper should function iteratively to create collective will and capability not only to defend against, but to detect, prevent and pre-empt security threats of corruption.

This Community of Practice meeting of USG interagency personnel and U.S. based and international anti-corruption civil society leaders, provided opportunities to share know-how, experiences, lessons learned and insights that will continue to inform approaches for strengthening coordination in support of the Strategy. 

Welcoming Remarks were provided by Randy Hansen, Director for ABA ROLI's Global Programs Division; and Lemarque Campbell, Senior Anti-Corruption Technical Advisor at ABA ROLI.   

Matthew Murray, Expert Consultant for ABA ROLI, presented on the White Paper on Strengthening Coordination in Support of the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption.   

A discussion followed with Pat Austria Ramsey, Country Practice and Innovation Director at the Institute for State Effectiveness; Gary Kalman, Executive Director at Transparency International U.S.; and Cheri-Leigh Erasmus, Global Director of Learning at Accountability Lab.

Lemarque Campbell facilitated a Q&A and Discussion session. The meeting wrapped up with Closing Remarks and a Mentimeter Survey.