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Pacific legal assistance

We work regionally and bilaterally with Pacific island law and justice agencies to build their capability to develop and implement effective crime and policing laws.

Our work enables police to respond more effectively to law and justice issues, including violence against women, corruption, and transnational crime; to improve community safety, regional stability and security; and to support strong economic growth.

Each year, we run training and development programs to help strengthen the policy skills of Pacific law and justice officers. These programs are part of Australia’s commitment to building legal capability in the Pacific region, and complement legal assistance our department provides under the Pacific Police Development Program (PPDP).

More information about our programs can be found below:

Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program

The Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program provides a unique opportunity for selected Pacific law and justice officers to undertake a two month placement in our department. The program aims to improve participants’ legal policy development skills while working on a legal policy or law reform project with a crime or policing focus.

The placement includes formal training sessions and facilitated group discussions with expert speakers. Using a ‘train-the-trainer’ model, participants are taught how to share their legal policy development skills so they can assist in strengthening institutional capabilities upon their return home.

Staff from our department guide and mentor participants to develop a plan to progress a priority project for their country. There is also potential for our staff to provide remote or in-country mentoring and follow-up support if requested by the participant’s home agency.

Participants are expected to actively engage with our network of alumni through the Pacific Legal Policy Network, and to contribute to the Pacific Islands Law Officers' Network (PILON) newsletter Talanoa about their experiences.

How to apply

Applications for the 2018 Twinning Program are expected to open in June 2018.

Two or three applicants are accepted for this program each year. Participation is subject to passport, visa and security clearances. Highly ranked applicants may be offered other professional development opportunities including participation in our Pacific Legal Policy Champions Training Program.

For more information, refer to the following brochure or contact us at pacific@ag.gov.au.

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Pacific Legal Policy Champions Training Program

Run over two weeks in late March each year in Canberra, the Policy Champions program targets high potential Pacific law and justice officers and aims to build their legal policy development capabilities so they become role models and advocates for good legal policy development practices in their home countries.

Participants are trained and supported to deliver the Pacific Legal Policy Development Course to their home agency and across government. The intensive program includes discussion with subject matter experts and key government stakeholders on priority policy issues.

Participants are expected to actively engage with our network of Pacific policy alumni, through the Pacific Legal Policy Network, and to contribute to the Pacific Islands Law Officers' Network (PILON) newsletter Talanoa about their experiences.

Participants in the Policy Champions Program may be drawn from highly ranked candidates who applied for the Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program, or candidates nominated by our counterpart law and justice agencies.

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Legal Policy Development Course

The Legal Policy Development course is designed to assist officers in regional partner countries to build capability in developing public policy proposals. This course has been delivered to more than 250 policymakers, drafters, police and other government officers across the Pacific.

Participants learn to develop, consult on and assess merits of alternative policy approaches, and how to test their ideas with the community. The course includes group exercises based on a hypothetical policy issue, and can be used to brainstorm and refine law reform proposals for government.

Participants who have completed the Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program and the Legal Policy Champions Training Program since 2014 are trained to deliver this course. If you work in a Pacific government agency and are interested in the course, we encourage you to contact a course facilitator in your country:

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Publications and photos

Our Twinning and Policy Champions Program participants have been featured in the Pacific Islands Law Officers Network (PILON) newsletter, Talanoa, including:

  • Building institutional effectiveness – the Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program (Issue 3)
  • Helping to develop successful policy outcomes in the Solomon Islands (Issue 4)
  • Role models and advocates in the Pacific – the 2015 Pacific Legal Policy Champions program (Issue 4)
  • 2016 Pacific Legal Policy Champions (Issue 6)
  • Solomon Islands Legal Policy Training 2016 (Issue 7)
  • 2016 Australia’s Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program (Issue 7)
  • Congratulations to the 2017 Pacific Legal Policy Champions (Issue 8)
  • Understanding and applying key concepts for policy development (Issue 8)
  • Solomon Islands Legal Policy Development Training 2017 (Issue 8).

Photos from previous Twinning and Policy Champion training are also available on the Attorney-General’s Department Facebook page.

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