Grounds for refusing assistance by the requested authority
Grounds for refusing assistance by the requested authority

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Grounds for refusing assistance by the requested authority
  • Grounds for refusal of assistance
  • Refusing assistance in proceedings in which an individual might face the death penalty

Grounds for refusal of assistance

Most legal instruments (treaties, conventions and memoranda of understanding) specify grounds upon which a request may be refused either in totality or certain aspects only. The Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 does not define the grounds on which the UK will refuse an incoming request for assistance, although it must take into account any grounds in an applicable treaty. For information on mutual legal assistance (MLA), see Practice Notes: Mutual legal assistance (MLA) and Mutual legal assistance—forms of assistance.

The decision to refuse a request is for the requested authority to make. If assistance is refused there is usually little, if any, scope for negotiation. In practice refusal is rare and is most likely to occur simply because the request cannot be executed at all, perhaps due to insufficient information to establish the whereabouts of the evidence or a witness. The UK rarely declines incoming requests, and with both incoming and outgoing requests, delay is a more frequent problem than refusal.

Reasons for refusing a request include:

  1. the offence under investigation is deemed a political offence

  2. the security and interests of the UK may be prejudiced

  3. the legal principl