Mutual legal assistance (MLA) is a method of cooperation between states for obtaining assistance in the investigation or prosecution of criminal offences. MLA is generally used for obtaining material that cannot be obtained on a police cooperation basis, particularly enquiries that require coercive means. Requests are made by a formal international Letter of Request (LOR). In civil law jurisdictions these are also referred to as ‘Commission Rogatoire’. This assistance is usually requested by courts or prosecutors and is also referred to as ‘judicial cooperation’.
Our clients’ cases often involve multiple jurisdictions and our job is to develop a bespoke strategy to challenge the legality of MLA request and to recover assets. These complex assignments require in-depth knowledge of public international law, multilateral and bilateral treaties’ application, international refugee and human rights law.