Mutual legal assistance (MLA)
Produced in partnership with BCL Burton Copeland
Mutual legal assistance (MLA)

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with BCL Burton Copeland provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Mutual legal assistance (MLA)
  • Mutual legal assistance (MLA)
  • European Investigative orders and overseas production orders
  • MLA under UK Law
  • The UK Central Authority
  • Request for assistance from the UK to overseas authorities
  • Issuing a Letter of Request (LOR)
  • Using the evidence obtained and admissibility
  • Requests for assistance from overseas authorities to the UK
  • Disclosure of Letters of Request (LOR)

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for corporate crime?

Mutual legal assistance (MLA)

MLA is the process by which a sovereign state formally requests help from another state to obtain information to assist with a criminal investigation or proceedings. This process operates in accordance with international treaties (referred to as 'MLATs'), conventions, bilateral agreements, memoranda of understanding and domestic legislation. In addition to evidence gathering, MLA may be used by a ‘requesting state’ in connection with the restraint and confiscation of assets located in the ‘requested state’. MLA is mainly effected by prosecutors or courts.

The regime for formal requests for assistance under MLA supplements any voluntary requests which may be made—there is no general prohibition on police forces providing voluntary help to foreign law enforcement agencies outside of the requirements of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003. In R (on the application of Akarcay) v Chief Constable of the West

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