Collecting evidence and turning it into accountability
With the industrial scale of wildlife crime affecting communities and ecosystems all over the world, we share information to ensure wildlife criminals are brought to justice.
The Wildlife Justice Commission works in collaboration with partners in key fields across the globe and continually share information with national and international law enforcement agencies, intergovernmental organisations and NGOs – whether this be intelligence for immediate action, information on new trafficking trends and methodologies, confidential briefings and reports or covert film and images.
If, after providing the national authorities our evidence and attempting to engage and influence them through the national dialogue process, there is still insufficient action taken to disrupt the criminal networks identified, we can then convene a Public Hearing, always as a last resort.
The purpose of a Public Hearing is twofold: to persuade the relevant government to act upon the evidence provided; and to have the Case File validated by an independent, impartial panel of experts, which will submit recommendations for how best to ensure justice for wildlife.
In November 2016, we convened the only Public Hearing we have hold to date, concerning an 18-month investigation in Viet Nam, where the Panel confirmed the Case File and offered recommendations to the Vietnamese authorities and other stakeholders.
The Independent Review Panel
The Independent Review Panel (IRP) plays a critical role in the WJC’s process by conducting an objective examination and evaluation of the WJC’s Case Files. Members of the Independent Review Panel are therefore carefully selected based on their: 1) affinity with the rule of law, transparency and anti-corruption; 2) independence; and 3) impartiality and high moral character.
The members of the IRP range from high-profile national and international judges to well respected academics, investigative journalists and authors with widely recognised expertise in wildlife or organised crime. In selecting the members of the IRP, the WJC strives for an even distribution of individuals based on their expertise, gender and geographical background. Their appointment is approved by the WJC’s Supervisory Board.
In the event that a Public Hearing is convened, the WJC appoints five members of the Independent Review Panel to form a Designated Independent Review Panel for the review of the Case File , at the Hearing. We strive to achieve a balanced representation of Panel members with regard to expertise, gender and geographical background for each Designated IRP.