JIS News

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Senator A. J. Nicholson, has called for increased international co-operation in the fight against terrorism.
“All countries are vulnerable to terrorist attacks,” he pointed out, adding that popular events were usually prime targets for such attacks.
Senator Nicholson cautioned that “with Cricket World Cup 2007 on the horizon, the Caribbean must be even more vigilant than before”.
The Minister was giving the keynote address at the opening session of the Training of Specialists and Trainers programme, a Commonwealth project on Capacity Building in Combating Terrorism, on March 13 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel. The course will last until March 17.
Speaking against the background of the frequency and heightened sophistication of terrorist attacks in recent times, the Minister pointed out that, “many countries have implemented legislation to combat terrorism and implement the various international instruments and Security Council Resolutions”.
He noted however, that in crafting such legislation, “we have all had to grapple with balancing the rights of the individual against the rights of the public to the safety and security of the nation”.
In spite of this challenge, Minister Nicholson emphasized, “it is important for all of us, especially lawmakers, prosecutors and law enforcers, to bear in mind that this fight to stamp out terror must not be at the expense of human rights”.
In addition to legislative adjustments, the Attorney General said it was equally essential for law enforcement personnel, intelligence officers and prosecutors to be trained in areas, such as “gathering and use of intelligence, forensic evidence, response to hostage-taking, international co-operation, mutual legal assistance and extradition, among others”.
He further recommended that, “states ensure effective co-ordination with their border control agencies internally, as well as with each other in order to prevent terrorist attacks, as well as ensure effective investigation of terrorist cases”.
The Minister also expressed the view that if international co-operation is to be effective in the war against terror, “it is necessary.that our legislation provides that terrorist acts and the financing of terrorism are extraditable offences”.