Seychelles was represented at the three-day Africa Military Legal Conference meeting by a delegation of legal and technical experts. The conference brought together lawyers and legal experts from 20 African countries, along with representatives from the United States, France, United Kingdom, the European Union, and other inter-agency organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The conference, which was hosted by the US Africa Command in Mauritius this week, focused on maritime legal issues such as piracy, illegal fishing, marine pollution, trafficking of arms, drugs, and people, with particular attention to how militaries coordinate with their civilian governments to apprehend and successfully prosecute maritime criminals.
A panel of African legal experts from several countries, including Seychelles, were invited to deliver a presentation on how maritime legal issues affect their country and how these issues are being addressed. Mr. Vipin Mathew Benjamin, Assistant Principal State Counsel at the Attorney General Office in Seychelles, talked about Seychelles’ national legal system, legal frameworks, and the challenges currently being faced. During the presentation, special emphasis was made on the early disposal of the cases, fair hearing process, MOUs on transfer of sentenced pirates with Somalis, further issues of tracing of piracy funds, and the setting up of an International Piracy Prosecution center.