The Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has called on his international counterparts in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States to agree to his blueprint for better coordinating a response to organised crime.
Speaking at the "Quintet" meeting of Attorney-Generals in Washington DC over the weekend, McClelland announced his blueprint via a proposed Declaration that would commit the five parties to enhancing their joint-efforts in the fight against organised crime.
The framework behind the Declaration was developed when the Quintet initially met in November 2009 with the ambition of adressing the fact that although various agreements already exist between different Government agencies regarding organised crime, there was a significant opportunity for the five countries to work more closely and systematically.
Coordinated by Australia, the Declaration seeks to promote discussion between the Quintet on domestic policy and legislative arrangements - regarding what is and isn't working on organised crime. It also seeks to enhance the exchange of criminal intelligence, including broadening measures for formal legal cooperation such as in extradition and mutual assistance matters.
McClelland also proposed the launch of a Quintet Group on Organised Crime in a bid to take the above ambitions forward.
"I would reiterate that while there are many good arrangements in place between our countries to work together to combat organised crime, there is always more that can be done," he said.
McClelland is expecting the Attorney-Generals from New Zealand, United States and Canada to respond to the Declaration during the Quintet meeting. The United Kingdom, however, will not have an opportunity to do so until after the outcomes of Thursday's UK election are known.