Regional Fusion & Law Enforcement Centre for Safety & Security at Sea: email:

Regional Fusion & Law Enforcement Centre

For Safety & Security at Sea

What gives Reflecs3 a legal mandate to operate?

The Reflecs3 programme was initiated by a core group of like-minded countries who collectively supported the idea of a multi-lateral, multi-agency team based in the Indian Ocean which, supported by those core countries, would work closely together to tackle transnational organised crime such as piracy. But to translate this desire into an operational reality, the Centre required a strong lawful basis to operate and particularly, to share information.

The Reflecs3 is lawfully created under the United Nations Convention on Transnational Crime (UNTOC), otherwise known as the Palermo Agreement. Specifically, Article 19  “States Parties shall consider concluding bilateral or multilateral agreements or arrangements whereby, in relation to matters that are the subject of investigations, prosecutions or judicial proceedings in one or more States, the competent authorities concerned may establish joint investigative bodies.”

The Reflecs3 employs Art. 19 as the basis for the Partnership Agreements which all countries sign to become members of Reflecs3

Reflecs3 Constitution and lawful basis to operate

How does Reflecs3 share information?

The Reflecs3 in conjunction with the University of Washington (Seattle) undertook an extensive exercise to map all the relevant treaties, conventions and instruments . This exercise ensured that the Reflecs3 can utilise lawful pathways to share information between all our partners. Underpinning these bilateral arrangements we also utilise the extensive provision afforded by Article 27 of UNTOC as a broad gateway with which to lawfully exchange information between members and partners.

Within the Centre the Reflecs3 employs a robust Statement of Information Management Practice which very clearly states the high-value the Reflecs3 places on confidentiality and security of information provided by partners to the Centre. The Centre applies rigid controls with regard to both internal and external dissemination of information and very carefully ensures that the wishes of the information owner, the supplying country, are abided by at all times.

With regard to application and observance of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Centre abides absolutely by the principles enshrined within ECHR regarding an individual’s right to privacy, effective data-security and rigorous application of data-storage rules. This ensures the Centre holds no material for any period longer than that strictly necessary to conduct a lawful and justified enquiry.