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27th IAP Annual Conference & General Meeting

Date: Sunday 25 September 2022 - Thursday 29 September 2022

Location: Hotel Sheraton Grand Metechi Palace, Tbilisi, Georgia

About the Conference 

  • Host: Office of the Prosecutor General of Georgia
  • Languages: English is the working language for this conference. Simultaneous interpretation into Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Chinese will be available at all sessions that take place in the main conference room (Kavkasioni Ballroom)
  • Registration: Expected to open mid-March 2019 
  • Fee Participants 725 EUR (Early Bird)/ 800 EUR (regular)
  • Fee Partners: 400 EUR (Early Bird)/ 450 EUR (regular)
  • Conference Website and online registration system 

About the Venue

Lonely Planet defines Georgia as follows: “From its green valley’s spread with vineyards to its old churches and watchtowers perched in fantastic mountain scenery, Georgia is one of the most beautiful countries on earth and a marvellous canvas for walkers, horse riders, cyclists and travellers of every kind. Equally special are its proud, high-spirited, cultured people, Georgia claims to be the birthplace of wine, and this is a place where guests are considered blessings and hospitality is the very stuff of life. A deeply complicated history has given Georgia a wonderful heritage of architecture and arts from cave cities to ancient cathedrals to the inimitable canvases of Pirosmani”.

Conference Theme: Global Phenomena Reshaping Criminal Justice Systems

The conference will look at the impact of the pandemic on criminal justice systems and examine whether the strategies and digital technologies deployed to ensure business continuity are both desirable and sustainable in the long term. It will look at the rapid growth in the prevalence and sophistication of cybercrimes and the enormous challenges these bring to criminal justice actors. The conference will examine prosecutorial responses, including engagement with the private sector and information technology solutions. It will further explore the forensic capacity, resources, legislative and organizational solutions of prosecution authorities and the role of the private sector in the preservation and recovery of digital evidence. As with evidence, there has been a substantial rise in the number and value of digital assets - the conference will explore the role of prosecutors in national money laundering risk identification and mitigation with a focus on virtual assets, the essential investigative techniques, strategies, and best practice for investigating, seizing, and confiscating virtual assets.

The following sub-themes will be explored during the conference: 


Plenary 1: COVID, Institutional Challenges & Responses

The Covid-19 pandemic created unparalleled challenges for criminal justice authorities across the world. Lockdown measures forced courts in many countries to close to the public. Some of them managed to move trials online while others downscaled operations. Remote trials worked in some legal communities and for many types of hearing but not in every case. In major trials, both prosecution and defence experienced difficulties in presenting and examining live evidence online.
 
On the other hand, routine proceedings that required little interaction between the parties proved to be more efficient when held online. The pandemic prompted many judicial authorities to review their cyber security policies and upgrade digital technologies and implement more secure and efficient mechanisms for inter-agency collaboration and international cooperation.
 
The pandemic changed not just the delivery of justice but also the volume and typologies of crime. Vulnerabilities prompted by the pandemic have been widely exploited by criminals. Countries have reported surges in cybercrime, pandemic related fraud, and domestic violence. In response, prosecution authorities and the judiciary were prompted to adopt extraordinary strategies and novel policies to ensure business continuity.
 
This plenary session will explore how prosecution authorities responded to the pandemic. It will explore the extent to which the pandemic has accelerated prosecutorial innovations and performance, such as using Artificial Intelligence, and whether the one-time solutions deployed in response could become business as usual in the long-term. The session will discuss whether these transformations are sustainable and their impact on the efficiency and accessibility of criminal justice systems.
 
The plenary session will include an interactive panel discussion and Q&A session.
 
Workshop 1 will be divided into two sessions covering:

A.    Digital Transformation across Criminal Justice Systems
B.    Public Health Responses to Crime


Plenary 2 – Evolution of Cybercrime Typologies

The world has undergone a dramatic digital transformation in the last couple of decades. At the same time cybercrime, from state sponsored cyber-attacks to low level fraud, has soared to new levels of prevalence and sophistication, phenomena accelerated by the pandemic. Rapidly emerging cybercrime typologies put an immense pressure on prosecution authorities, requiring constant changes in prosecution strategies, the updating of skills and the deployment of ever greater resources which are not always readily available.
 
At the same time, cooperation between criminal justice authorities and the private sector, particularly national and international service providers, is essential to understand cyber threats and the critical context of cybercriminal activities, to identify trends and facilitate the collection of digital evidence in cybercrime and other investigations and prosecutions.
 
Such cooperation not only allows access to data held by service providers, but also the sharing of experience, training, hardware, and software to assist authorities in cybercrime investigations and prosecutions. Arrangements between public authorities and the private sector often rely on a patchwork of agreements and would benefit from a more formalised framework for co-operation to help mitigate jurisdictional variations on data retention and sharing, conflicts concerning privacy issues and other common barriers to co-operation.
 
This session will explore the challenges related to the prosecution of established and emerging cybercrimes, including ransomware, phishing, violent extremism, and other crimes on the darknet, and the strategic and other responses of prosecution authorities. It will explore the roles of public-private partnerships and the use of Artificial Intelligence both by the perpetrators of cybercrimes and those tasked with the prevention and prosecution of their activity.
 
The plenary session will include an interactive panel discussion and Q&A session.
 
Workshop 2 will consist of one sessions covering:
 
A.    Prosecuting Crimes on the Darknet
 

Plenary 3 – Challenges of E-evidence across Borders

Criminal evidence is increasingly digital and, it follows, increasingly transnational. Fragmented and sometimes rigid rules of international law and divergent domestic laws and legal cultures can make transborder access to digital evidence challenging. Further, the legal boundaries between prohibited speech and freedom of expression vary across jurisdictions and has become increasingly controversial.
 
Digital evidence is inadmissible as evidence in some jurisdictions, while in others there are no clear rules or standards for its admissibility. To add to the complexity, the role of the private sector, particularly Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is critical to the preservation, retention and sharing of digital evidence.
 
Combined with a scarcity of appropriate but costly digital forensics and limited investigation and prosecution capacity, it is little surprise that cybercrime cases and other prosecutions relying on digital evidence often see significant delays or even fail.
 
The increasing complexity of emerging cybercrimes and the need to collect and properly process digital evidence across borders have prompted investigation and prosecution authorities to strengthen institutional capacities and introduce modern technologies. This session will explore the forensic capacity, resources, legislative and organizational solutions of prosecution authorities and the role of the private sector in the preservation and recovery of digital evidence. Further, it will examine the role of multi-lateral international actors in initiatives to promote cross-border access to digital evidence and the legal boundaries between prohibited speech and freedom of expression in the context of mutual legal assistance.
 
The plenary session will include an interactive panel discussion and Q&A session.
 
Workshop 3 will be divided into two sessions covering:
 
A.    Challenges of Obtaining Electronic Evidence from Abroad
B.    Freedom of Expression and Social Media
 

Plenary 4 – Money Laundering through Virtual Assets

Identifying, assessing, and understanding money laundering (ML) risks by competent authorities are essential elements for the proper functioning of anti-money laundering systems. It assists with the prioritisation and efficient application of mitigation measures, including allocation of resources, commensurate with those risks.
 
Prosecutors are both contributors to and users of the risk assessment process. They may have relevant statistics on ML/TF investigations, prosecutions and convictions, assets seized, confiscated, repatriated, or shared or hold information about criminals’ modus operandi obtained during an investigation. They may also be able to provide information on current trends and risks detected through their investigations and prosecutions as well as assist in identifying vulnerabilities.
 
Financial investigation can provide information about both proof of crime and property that may be subject to confiscation. Successful ML prosecutions, asset tracing, freezing and confiscation is extremely difficult without a prior financial investigation.
 
This session will examine the role of prosecutors in national ML risk identification, assessment, understanding and mitigation with a focus on virtual assets. It will examine the essential investigative techniques, strategies, and best practice for investigating, seizing, and confiscating virtual assets, including the use of domestic and international cooperation mechanisms, the use of multi-disciplinary/agency groups, FIU’s, cooperation with regulators, and engagement with the private sector.
 
The plenary session will include an interactive panel discussion and Q&A session.
 
Workshop 4 will be divided into two sessions covering:
 
A.    Parallel Financial Investigations in Practice
B.    Tracing, Seizing & Freezing Virtual Assets