The Future of Mutual Legal Assistance in the Commonwealth

I was honoured to present a background paper for the Commonwealth Secretariat at the First Meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Central Authorities and the Commonwealth Network of Contact Persons – held in London on 15-16 February 2018. The paper outlines recommendations to reduce Mutual Legal Assistance delays – through better use of Information Communication Technology…

Lawful Access to Data Across Borders – UNODC/CTED/IAP Global Guide

Almost all organised crime and counter-terrorism investigations will require electronic evidence – often located in another State. Yet – to date – there is no single resource on how to secure this vital evidence from priority jurisdictions around the world. Over the last two days – UNODC hosted an Expert Group Meeting in Vienna to…

Networking in the Greater Horn of Africa

In a conference room in Uganda six months ago, the EU team contemplated the next step to establish the Greater Horn of Africa Mutual Legal Assistance Network. We decided upon an ambitious strategy to have an equivalent of the European Judicial Network – with a Fiches and Contact Points. To be proactive rather than reactive….

Equality of Arms?

Justice is measured on access, transparency, fairness, equality and objectivity – we should also remember participation. Section 132(2)(c) of the Ghana Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 30) precludes the right to reply for a Police Prosecutor of less than three years call as a lawyer. This means if an accused’s Attorney is 1 years call…

Djiboutian Fiches

The last EU Mutual Legal Assistance workshop of the year has produced a Fiches for Djibouti on evidence collection and use of Special Investigation Techniques for Requesting States. Over a week, key Djiboutian stakeholders from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gendarmerie, Investigative Judges and Prosecutors – plus an expert from the French…

Somalia – Mutual Legal Assistance Workshop

Ama waa la muuqdaa, ama waa la maqnaada Either be visible or be absent We flew to Mogadishu International Airport (MIA) three weeks after Somalia suffered its worst terrorist attack on 14 October when a large truck bomb exploded in central Mogadishu killing at least 358 people. Somalia was once again back in the global…

Djibouti – Mutual Legal Assistance Training

‘Locus regit actum’ Djibouti is the third smallest country in continental Africa, after Swaziland (second smallest) and Gambia (smallest). Its geographic location makes it a strategically important area – bordered by Eritrea to the north, Somaliland to the south east and the Gulf of Aden lies to the east with Yemen less than 27 kilometres…

EuroMed Justice – Paris

“Qui n’avance pas, recule!” The Third CrimEx for EuroMed Justice IV was hosted by the French Ministry of Justice in Paris on 24-26 October. The purpose of the CrimEx was to hear presentations on the legal and gap analyses of laws, procedures and challenges to international cooperation in the Southern Partner Countries (SPCs) of Algeria,…

Criminal Prosecutions Service – Antigua and Barbuda

Great to see the passing of this Bill in the Lower House for the establishment of the Criminal Prosecution Service in Antigua and Barbuda! Criminal Prosecutions Service Bill Passed By Tameika Malone (Antigua Observer) The Criminal Prosecutions Service Bill 2017 has passed its first hurdle, the Lower House with “sundry” amendments. The aim of the Bill is…

Sudan Fiches

After successfully collaborating with key Sudanese stakeholders to produce their own Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Manual in July – Judges, Prosecutors and Legal Advisors from the Ministry of Justice have now completed their Fiches to assist other States with MLA requests. The preparation of the Fiches was an opportunity to reflect and consider existing domestic provisions…