The Liaison Magistrate Initiative (LMI): progress on its implementation and remaining challenges on international judicial cooperation


On 16-17 May, 2022, The Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in the framework of the PROMIS project, held an online preparatory meeting on the Liaison Magistrate Initiative (LMI), a project aimed at strengthening international judicial cooperation to counter trafficking in persons (TIP), migrant smuggling (SOM), and related crimes, through the deployment of liaison magistrates (LMs) from West and Central Africa to EU countries.

The liaison magistrate initiative was officially launched by UNODC in 2018, with the deployment of Nigerian liaison prosecutors in Italy and Spain to foster communication and to better overcome obstacles to mutual legal assistance (MLA) and to counter trafficking in persons (TIP), migrant smuggling (SOM) and related crimes.

This meeting reviewed the implementation of the Liaison Magistrate Initiative since the first multi-stakeholder meeting, hold in Siracusa in 2019, and to follow-up on the key recommendations that emerged from that meeting.

The on-line meeting was attended by SII, UNODC, EUROJUST and WACAP representatives, as well as representatives of National Institutions from Central and West Africa. In June, The Siracusa Institute and UNODC will organize the Second Multi-stakeholder Meeting.