Regional Conference on Strengthening Judicial Cooperation in the MENA Region: Judges and Prosecutors at the Forefront of the Fight against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing – Manama (Bahrain), 22-24 March 2022


Manama,22nd March 2022: In collaboration with the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, the EU Global Facility on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (EU GF-AML/CFT) organized a Regional Conference on “Strengthening Judicial Cooperation in the MENA Region: Judges and Prosecutors at the forefront of the Fight against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing”.

The three-day event brought together 70 representatives from 18 countries of the MENA region and aims at strengthening international judicial co-operation and the efficient application of existing MLA standards and international instruments by judges and prosecutors.

The overall purpose of the Conference is to equip judges and prosecutors with the specialised knowledge they require to carry out their AML/CFT related responsibilities and tasks. The sophisticated methods used by criminals are rarely limited by the state borders and most crime has transnational characteristics, therefore international co-operation and co-ordination remain fundamental to fight international organised crime, money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Conference includes 8 sessions which focus on:

  1. What works and does not work for judicial cooperation on AML/CFT matters: A high-level situation analysis for the MENA region
  2. Countering the financing of terrorism: a specific challenge for the MENA region
  3. National strategies and domestic cooperation to ensure effective investigations and prosecutions relating to anti-money laundering (AML), counter-terrorist financing (CTF) and counter-proliferation
  4. Best practices for money laundering and financial investigations and prosecutions, and seizing, freezing and confiscating illicit proceeds
  5. Constitutional arguments as obstacles to judicial cooperation: Contrasting myth and reality
  6. Improving the capacity of investigators and judicial systems to turn intelligence into evidence: The role of the Financial Intelligence Unit
  7. International experiences and best practices regarding international asset recovery, management and repatriation of confiscated assets
  8. Improving judicial cooperation in the MENA region: The European experience.

The in-person format of this event facilitates interactivity and fosters interaction between professionals of different institutions. To this end, each participating country will deliver a presentation of a practical case on anti-money laundering or counter-terrorist financing involving international cooperation in the MENA region.