Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements
1. States parties make each other the broadest measure of mutual legal assistance in investigating, prosecuting and prosecuting offences under Article 3 of this Convention and apply to each other for similar assistance where the requesting State party has reason to believe that the Article 3 offence is the offence under paragraph 1. (a) or b), which is covered by Article 3. , including the fact that victims, witnesses, receipts, exhibits or evidence of these offences are located in the required State Party and that the offence relates to an organized criminal organization. In accordance with Article 17 of the agreement, the EU and the United States carried out a review of the operation of the agreement in 2015-2016. The revision concludes that the agreement has generally been a success. The review process has also resulted in recommendations to improve the practical functioning of mutual legal aid relations between the EU and the US, including a better exchange of knowledge between practitioners about the other party`s laws and processes and better use of technology to speed up the transmission of applications and evidence and general communication. In addition to MLATs, the United States has a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement (MLAA) with China, as well as an MLAA between the American Institute of Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. The United States has also concluded a number of executive recovery cooperation agreements, including an agreement with the United Kingdom providing for consumer aid and asset allocation in drug cases; an expiry agreement with the Kingdom of the Netherlands; and an agreement on drug forfeiture with Singapore. The United States has asset-sharing agreements with Canada, the Cayman Islands (extended to Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands), Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico and Monaco. The mechanisms of mutual legal assistance will gradually be replaced by instruments of mutual recognition.
However, an agreement between EU countries remains: the Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters strengthens cooperation between judicial, police and customs authorities. UNODC has developed tools to facilitate international cooperation and address the challenges of cross-border organized crime groups. UnODC`s model treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters contains state-of-the-art provisions that states can use as a basis for the development of their own bilateral agreements (UNODC, 1998). To facilitate the development of national legislation, UNODC has drafted the Model Criminal Mutual Legal Assistance Act (UNODC, 2007). The model law contains provisions to help states provide more effective assistance in criminal matters with transnational implications. This assistance can take the form of examining and identifying persons, places and things, transferring deprivation of liberty and assisting with the ownership of criminal activity instruments. In the case of the latter, MLATs between the United States and the Caribbean do not cover U.S. tax evasion, and are therefore ineffective when applied to Caribbean countries, which generally act as offshore “tax havens.” [Citation required] This article builds on a series of previous global and regional initiatives (Dandurand, 2007). It calls on States Parties to provide the broadest possible assistance in investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings. Offences that should be assisted include cross-border “serious offences” involving an organized criminal organization, offences under the Convention on Organized Crime (participation in a criminal organization, money laundering, corruption and obstruction of justice) and offences established under the protocols to which States are parties.