Francis Burak

Senior Asset Recovery Specialist, Tanzania
[email protected]

Francis Burak joined the International Centre for Asset Recovery at the Basel Institute on Governance in November 2021 as a Senior Asset Recovery Specialist. Based in Tanzania, he will provide mentoring, technical advisory, and training support to government partners in the mainland as well as Zanzibar.

Francis is a practising Barrister from the UK and was formally employed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), appearing regularly in the Lower, Higher and Appeal Courts in London. Francis was the youngest lawyer to be invited to join the CPS Special Casework Unit in London, where he focused on strategic planning, investigative steering, asset recovery and case-building for London’s proactive policing units. His work there was specialised in cases involving criminal conspiracies, money laundering, corruption and transnational trafficking in drugs and firearms.

As an international adviser, Francis has designed and implemented programmes for a wide range of donors, including the UK Department for International Development, the US State Department and UNODC. Francis has rich experience supporting criminal justice reform in the Caribbean region, including judicial benchbooks and practice directions; new laws to streamline the transit of serious and organised crime cases through the courts; rules of court promoting court efficiency; centralised listings and differentiated case management systems; statutory regulations for law enforcement; and wholesale ‘points to prove’ guidance for prosecutors and police.

Francis was part of the establishment team for the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency in Jamaica, where he developed and mentored the country’s first in-house Prosecutorial Unit. In the Agency, he also provided technical casework advice and collaborated with the Executive team to formulate institutional policies.

As an Asset Recovery Specialist, Francis provided casework mentoring to the lawyers of the Jamaican Financial Investigations Division, established and managed an international asset recovery protocol, and developed specific rules of court for local Proceeds of Crime Laws. Francis’ work in this area led to the first Pecuniary Penalty Order (post-conviction confiscation) being made by the Courts in Jamaica, as well as the registration of tens of millions of pounds' worth of overseas asset recovery orders being registered and enforced.

Francis holds an LLB Law (Hons) and is a graduate of the UK Bar Vocational Course and the Caribbean LEC (entitling him to be called to over 15 CARICOM signatory states). His studies for an MSc in Public Policy & Management at the University of London (SOAS) have also provided specific specialist expertise in Leadership, Managing Organisational Change, Public-Private Partnerships, and Monitoring and Evaluation.