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Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program

The Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program provides a unique opportunity for high potential Pacific law and justice officers to improve their legal policy skills, and progress an identified policy project specific to their home agency.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants in our Twinning Programs worked in our offices in Barton, Canberra for 2 months and received intensive training to improve their skills in legal policy development and legislative reform. This included formal training sessions and group discussions with expert speakers to encourage learning.

Participants undertook the department's Legal Policy Champions Program which included the Legal Development Course. On returning home, participants shared their knowledge and built institutional capability by delivering the Legal Policy Development Course to their home agency and across government.

After completing the Policy Champions Program, Twinning participants worked closely with our officers on a priority legal policy or law reform project with a crime or policing focus, as nominated by their home agency. Projects typically aligned with regional policy priorities of the Pacific Islands Law Officers' Network (PILON) and Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) – such as cybercrime, sexual and gender based violence, child abuse and/or illegal drugs.

Past participants actively engage with our network of Pacific policy alumni and PILON, including sharing their program experience in Talanoa, the PILON newsletter. Information about the Twinning Program and previous participants and projects is available to download below:

Applications open – Remote Twinning Program Pilot 2021

We invite applicants from Pacific Island countries to apply for our 2021 Pacific Legal Policy Twinning Program.

Applications open on 1 February 2021 and close on 1 March 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are trialling remote delivery for 2021. We will support 3 to 4 participants to complete a tailored training program in their home countries. This may include formal training sessions and group discussions with expert legal policy officers, lawyers, drafters and academics to encourage learning.

Participants will be partnered with officers in our department, with weekly meetings and scheduled activities through Zoom.

We expect the program to run for 8 weeks beginning around April 2021. However, the exact duration and participants’ weekly time commitment will need to be determined in consultation with relevant agency heads and supervisors. Participants should be able to commit to at least one day a week (or equivalent).


We will work closely with Twinning participants on a priority legal policy or law reform project.

Projects should be nominated by, and considered to be a priority for, the participant home agency. They must have a crime or policing focus.

We will consider favourably projects that align with PILON and PICP regional strategic policy priorities. In particular, law and policy reform projects that progress work relating to:

  • special measures to protect vulnerable witnesses in sexual and gender based violence,
  • law and policy reform around child exploitation offences.

The project may be one that the home agency is already working on, or one that the agency intends to develop or become involved with in the near future. The project should be a matter of strategic importance and priority for the agency. It should also be one that the applicant is likely to help progress after undertaking this program.

How to apply

To apply:

We will select participants through a competitive application process against selection criteria.

Contact details

Pacific Section
International Division
3-5 National Circuit BARTON ACT 2600