We are pleased to announce that the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law will be holding its 26th annual conference, International Responses to Social and Justice Challenges, in Hobart, Tasmania from August 15th – 18th this year. As in past years the conference will provide an opportunity for updates on various international criminal proceedings and international cooperative development. For the most part, however, the conference will look at a number of challenges that are confronting national, regional and international criminal justice institutions and governments on a variety of issues that are deeply grounded in the social fabric of societies.
This year’s conference will examine the challenges that vulnerable populations, particularly women and children, present as they come into contact with the criminal justice system as victims of violence and abuse, witnesses and as perpetrators of crime. Conference participants will also explore the relationships between mental illness and criminal behavior, including violence, and look at mentally ill people as victims of violence rather than just perpetrators. The conference will feature innovative and effective approaches for addressing the challenges associated with these populations from a criminal justice perspective.
Another matter in question that has sparked emotional debate as countries increase their efforts to reduce crime is that of firearms legislation and control. The conference will look at the desirability and effectiveness of firearm controls and legislation at the national level and explore the developments internationally to promote cooperation among States to prevent and eradicate the illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.
Corruption is another complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Within the overarching theme of supporting international cooperation on all of the issues discussed the conference will look at the complexities of establishing viable anti-corruption regimes in view of the differing standards and processes that exist throughout nations.
The conference will provide a forum for judges, prosecutors, policy-makers, representatives of law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens to discuss these challenges from a range of perspectives and try to establish how we can best formulate the criminal law and policy response to these difficult situations moving forward. The ISRCL anticipates a forward-looking conference that recognizes international perspectives on these important issues and contributes to the development of a fair, evidence-based criminal justice and security agenda.