How we work

Our scope encompasses illegal trade by organised transnational criminal networks in wildlife, timber and fisheries.

The objective of our investigation is to activate justice.

Sometimes this happens immediately while other investigations take longer if they require extensive national dialogue or even a Public Hearing. Typically, there are three routes we take to activate justice.

Immediate action

In pertinent situations and whenever possible we share intelligence and work with law enforcement agencies to incite immediate action.

National Dialogue

In more complex situations and if we are unable to cooperate with responsible agencies towards immediate action, an investigation will result in a Case File. This is a very detailed and highly actionable case file that maps out criminal networks and their illicit activities, which national authorities can put to immediate action.

We then engage with the national authorities and work with our Ambassadors and stakeholders to convince, and if necessary exert background pressure on authorities to act on evidence provided.

Public Hearing

If the National Dialogue is unsuccessful and insufficient action is taken we have the option to convene a Public Hearing. The Public Hearing is a mechanism designed to help activate justice once all other avenues have been explored. Evidence from the investigation will be presented for validation to an independent, impartial panel of experts drawn from the Independent Review Panel.

The outcome of the Public Hearing is a decision by the Designated Independent Review Panel and recommendations for further action. This decision will serve to leverage stakeholder influence and existing sanctions mechanisms in order to activate justice.

Throughout, we adhere to a transparent and accountable process, the Rules of Procedure.


According to the adjusted Rules of Procedure, as of 3 May 2017 the term ‘Accountability Panel’ has been replaced with ‘Independent Review Panel (IRP)’ when referring to the pool of appointed individuals willing to initially review a Case File or participate in a Public Hearing and ‘Designated Independent Review Panel’ for the IRP constituted for a Public Hearing in a specific case.