Internet Registries – Caribbean agencies collaborate on legal, judicial education

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Bevil Wooding, Director of Caribbean Affairs at ARIN

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Internet has had a major impact on how businesses and governments interact with society. And now, largely due to the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also driving radical transformation in the operations of courts and the delivery of justice. In response, a US-based regional Internet registry is now working with Caribbean agencies and judiciaries to ensure that judges and lawyers are kept abreast of global technology trends and their impact on the justice sector.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and Apex, the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions, have teamed up to provide a series of capacity building initiatives designed to help judges and lawyers better understand the impact of technology on the justice sector.

Einar Bohlin, vice president of government affairs at ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, stated:

“ARIN understands that Internet-related court cases are increasing, and it makes clear sense that greater understanding of how the Internet works will invariably be helpful to judges and legal professionals. We see our collaboration with the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions as an important part of our contribution to development of the Internet in the Caribbean.”

ARIN, a non-profit organization, manages internet number resources for Canada, the United States and several territories in the Caribbean. ARIN has supported Internet development in the Caribbean for years, typically in collaboration with governments and development agencies such as the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission. Its latest partnership with the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions is part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of internet trends that have implications for governments and public sector bodies in its service region.

Michael Abejuela, general counsel at ARIN, explained that there are five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and their mission is to maintain a register of Internet number resource holders for their respective service regions.

“This makes RIRs a valuable ally for law enforcement agencies and courts throughout the world as there are many Internet issues that can come up in modern court cases,” he stated, adding, “it is important for attorneys and law enforcement officers to be able to follow the trail to find out who is being a website or online transaction. Internet registries can help with this process.”

Bevil Wooding, director of Caribbean affairs at ARIN and the executive director at the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions, shared that the organizations have developed a series of education and training programmes tailored for judiciaries and legal professionals.

“Long before the COVID-19 pandemic pushed courts to accelerate their adoption of technology, there were calls to facilitate greater legal and judicial understanding of the role, opportunities and risks of technology innovation,” Wooding said.

He explained that the justice and technology series developed by ARIN and the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions will provide a forum for judges, lawyers, law enforcement and public safety officials to share knowledge and experiences and learn about technology trends and issues relevant to the justice sector.

“The initiative was launched via a virtual event on 20 October and will continue in the coming months,  tackling subjects including cyber-crime, social media, data privacy, digital transformation and artificial intelligence in courts.”

Collaborative partners for the initiative include the Caribbean Court of Justice, Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Bar Associations (CAJO); The Organization of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations (OCCBA); the Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the Eugene Dupuch Law School.

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