Opening Remarks – UWI Course in International Crime
January 17, 2011
This course is an example of what Barbados needs to do in order to keep up with the evolving challenges of globalisation. Globalisation is not new to us: the Barbados we know today was born of the global outreach of an expansionist English nation, and its economy grew through international commerce in sugar, slaves and consumption goods. What is new is the nature of Barbados’ economic interface with the rest of the world. Very little now remains of the sugar economy of the last three centuries. What we have today is an economy driven by international commerce in services, principally tourism services, with international business and financial services (IBFS) in second place.
The international business and financial services sector is Barbados’ most recent foreign currency diversification initiative. Our success in this activity is a result of an emphasis on quality – of regulation, of legislation, and of official administration. In order to maintain internationally acceptable quality we must constantly upgrade our performance in all these aspects – improving the adequacy of regulation, the appropriateness of legislation, and the processes and skills which enable government and private firms to provide an efficient professional service.
The anti-money laundering (AML) framework, and the way we execute that framework, are crucial aspects of our quality control. We must constantly upgrade that framework to keep abreast of best international standards; we must take measures to equip official entities with the knowledge and skills to execute their responsibilities in a transparent, even-handed and expeditious fashion. Practitioners must fully understand and implement measures and procedures, which will ensure that their operations satisfy a demanding international standard, all the while offering their clients a service that is competitive in price and quality. This course put on by UWI will help all participants to remain current on the latest developments in international criminal law, so that we can enhance our standing among our competitors in the market for international business and financial services.
The UWI is fortunate to have the benefit, as lecturer for this course, of one who has been writer, teacher and service provider in this field from its inception, in the person of Bruce Zagaris. Bruce’s CV speaks for itself: he has a B.A., J.D., and LL.M. from The George Washington University, Washington, DC, one of the most distinguished universities in the US. Since November 1978, he has practiced law in Washington, D.C., where he is currently a partner with Berliner Corcoran & Rowe. He has served as a consultant, counsel and lobbyist for fourteen governments, including our own, on various subjects, many relating to aspects of international criminal or enforcement law. His work for governments has included negotiating, advising and providing public relations support on international enforcement agreements. Bruce has served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the British High Commission, and UN projects on anti-money laundering and organized crime. Bruce’s work for private banks and corporations has involved counseling on prevention strategies, on complying with anti-money laundering requirements, on the development of due diligence procedures, and on compliance with transnational corruption laws.
Bruce has served as an expert witness and/or consultant on several occasions. The list of particulars is a long one. He has handled transfer of prisoner applications and advised accused and convicted persons of the operation of applicable treaties and the pros and cons of applying under them. He has been active in civil prosecution on behalf of victims of transnational crimes and torts.
Bruce has testified before Congress in the US on the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, on the U.S. Government’s efforts to combat international tax evasion, on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, and on a National Gambling Impact Study. Bruce’s work with the Executive Branch of the US Government includes advising on strategy for dealing with international organized crime, as well as writing, advising and lecturing on money laundering, international tax enforcement, and financial investigations. He has lectured to U.S. diplomats and staff, as well as to foreign governments and officials.
Since 1985, Bruce has edited the International Enforcement Law Reporter, a monthly publication which discusses developments in international criminal and related enforcement law matters. It can be viewed at http://www.ielr.com. He has written extensively on issues of international criminal law, in a wide variety of publications. Bruce has appeared on many of the leading international media networks, and has been interviewed and quoted in the international press.
To cap it all, Bruce Zagaris has been an advisor on international criminal law to a succession of Barbadian Government administrations, and has been, and continues to be, of invaluable assistance to us in that capacity. Beyond this, he is a friend of Barbados, one of a distinguished list of international luminaries whose informal support and advice has done much to assist this small nation in making its way in a changing world.
With Bruce Zagaris as lecturer, this week’s course takes us to the frontier of practice in international criminal law, which is where we need to be, in order to be most competitive. Our heartfelt thanks to Bruce; we really do appreciate his willingness to put his expertise at our disposal, and the committed support he has given us, over the years. We look forward to a rewarding week with him.