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G8 Ministers of Justice and Interior Ministers Meetings

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The UK Presidency of the G8 – Justice and Home Affairs

Background

The G8 (or "Group of Eight") is a multilateral group consisting of the world's major industrial democracies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Commission attends G8 meetings as an observer. The G8 address a wide range of international economic, political, and security issues.

The G8 has its origin at an economic summit in 1975 convened by President Valery Giscard d'Estaing of France and attended by leaders from Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Italy and Canada joined this original "Group of Five" in 1976-7. Whilst Russia started to be involved in G7 meetings in 1992, it was only in 1998 that the name was formally changed to "G8".

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Work on Transnational Organised Crime

After the 1995 Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a group of experts was brought together to look for better ways to fight international crime. In 1996, this group (later known as the "Lyon Group") produced Forty Recommendations to combat international crime that were endorsed by the G8 Heads of State at their Summit Meeting in Lyon in June 1996. "Subgroups" of the Lyon Group thereafter were formed to address specific crime-related issues (e.g., legal processes for evidence-sharing, high-tech crime, and immigrations fraud and human trafficking). In December 1997, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno hosted the first-ever meeting of her counterparts from the G8 countries and the Ministers issued their first joint Communiqué which endorsed the work of the Lyon group. The last three Presidencies of the G8 have hosted meetings of Justice and Home Affairs ministers. The Home Secretary will host a similar meeting in 2005.

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Changes following September 11, 2001

In October 2001, senior representative of G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministries met in Rome to discuss steps for the G8 to take to combat international terrorism and decided to combine the G8's Lyon Group (fighting transnational organised crime) and the G8's Roma Group (fighting international terrorism). Since that time, the Lyon/Roma Group has met three times annually in joint session. While continuing important work to combat transnational organised crime, the group uses its resources to combat terrorism through such avenues as enhancements to legal systems, transport security, and tools for investigating terrorist uses of the Internet.

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Meetings under the UK Presidency of the G8, 2005

The UK will convene 3 meetings of the Lyon / Roma group. These will be in January, April and November. They will be chaired by senior officials from the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Home Secretary will host a ministerial meeting in June 2005.

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G8 Transnational crime and Counter-terror objectives in 2005

The 2005 objectives combine work on the inherited agenda and a number of new initiatives. There are nearly 100 separate projects. The key areas of work are:

Source: Home Office (United Kingdom)

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This page was last updated February 09, 2007.

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