Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have begun talks about a major extradition treaty that they say would help curtail criminal activities. A proposal to finalize the extradition accord, and to determine the means with which to control crime along the GCC borders was discussed at the GCC justice ministers’ meeting in Kuwait on Wednesday.
“A judicial cooperation agreement between the GCC and other countries or international groups was also discussed by the justice ministers,” Abdulazeez Al-Majid, Kuwaiti Undersecretary of the Justice Ministry, said Thursday. The move will eventually help to control crime in the GCC, whose population is projected to grow to about 54 million by 2020.
Al-Majid said the proposed treaty will help to extradite criminals among Gulf countries, and will increase coordination with countries outside the Gulf. The treaty is also essential to track, investigate and prosecute human traffickers, said a report published recently.
Al-Majid indicated that the existing GCC agreements in the field of justice system should be modified before endorsement, in order to allow it to cover crimes other than those specified in the GCC anti-terrorism treaty. A commission has now been tasked to study the treaty and related judicial issues.
Al-Majed said that the participants in the meeting examined experiences of GCC member states regarding justice and legal affairs, as well as a proposal to establish centers for guidance and settlement of family disputes. The justice ministers also discussed other bills, including those related to fighting cyber crimes, unifying judicial policies and judiciaries of the GCC states, improving family courts and securing child rights.
The Gulf states have also formed a joint team to speed up legal action against websites and social media accounts accused of violating the laws governing the use of cyberspace in the region. Moreover, the plan to unify the justice system will assist greatly in reforming the legal sector of the Gulf, whose legal systems have undergone progressive changes in the past 25 years.

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