International Insights in Criminal Law is a series of podcasts covering different aspects of cross border crime.
 

In the second episode of our series, Rebecca Niblock, Partner & Sophie Wood, Senior Associate (Barrister) in our Criminal Litigation team, speak about Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA).

They explore the following questions:

  • What is MLA and why is it needed?
  • Can MLA be used by both the prosecution and the defence?
  • Can any country ask the UK for help with an investigation through MLA?
  • Are there countries that the UK won't cooperate with?
  • What happens when the UK receives a MLA request from another country and who is it that decides whether to agree to an overseas request?

Stay tuned for more episodes in the series which will cover topics including Extradition & European Arrest Warrants. Click here to listen to episode 1 which covered Interpol & Red Notices.

Further Information

For further information on the issues raised in this podcast, please contact a member of our International Crime and Extradition team.

You can also find out more about the work our International Crime and Extradition team cover by clicking here or further information on Mutual Legal Assistance by clicking here.

About the Speakers

Rebecca Niblock is a partner in our Criminal Litigation team. She has significant experience in both domestic criminal litigation and extradition, having acted for defendants in a wide range of criminal matters from serious fraud, money laundering and corruption, to sexual offences and offences involving violence or drugs. Rebecca specialises in cases involving cross-jurisdictional elements. She has successfully defended a large number of persons requested by other states, both inside and outside the EU in extradition proceedings at all levels from the magistrates’ court to the Supreme Court. She also has experience in advising in sanctions cases, and in providing advice to those subject to Interpol red notices and mutual legal assistance requests.

Sophie Wood is a senior associate with extensive experience in advising corporate and individual clients involved in a wide range of internal, criminal and regulatory investigations and public inquiries. Sophie has acted for individuals involved in investigations brought by the HSE and local authorities, and is a member of the firm’s cross-practice Health, Safety and Environment Group.

 

Sophie Wood

Criminal Litigation

Senior Associate (Barrister)

Latest blogs & news

Upheavals in extradition law

In a article originally written for Legal Action Group, Rebecca Niblock and Edward Grange,  examine two important changes since the last edition of Extradition law: a practitioner’s guide.

EU Member States’ reluctance to extradite their own nationals to the UK

Perhaps the first practical negative consequence for the UK to emerge “Beyond Brexit” from an extradition perspective relates to Article 83 of the TCA which allows EU Member States to refuse to extradite their own nationals to the UK. Germany, Austria and Slovenia had already exercised the Nationality bar during the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020.

Extradition post-Brexit: the TCA at a glance

The potential fallout from Brexit for extradition and cross-border criminal justice security had been forewarned even before the first vote was cast in the Referendum. The risks to the UK of losing access to SIS II and complicating a relatively simple (albeit not perfect) EAW process were highlighted by many practitioners, law enforcement agencies and politicians.

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF’s decisions tell us? Part Four - Unfunded Or Bounced Cheques

This is the final blog in our four-part series looking at some of the key points arising from the published decisions of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (“CCF”). In the first blog, we discussed INTERPOL’s consideration of the merits of the underlying case, in the second claims of political motivation, and in the third the relevance of failed extradition requests. In this blog, we look at requests for deletion of Red Notices in cases arising from unfunded or bounced cheques.

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF's decisions tell us? Part Three - Decisions Not To Extradite

This is the third in our series of blogs looking at some of the key points arising from the published decisions of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (“CCF”).  In the first blog, we discussed INTERPOL’s consideration of the merits of the underlying case, and in the second, claims of political motivation. In this blog, we consider the impact of a decision to refuse extradition on the continued publication of a Red Notice.

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF’s decisions tell us? Part Two - Politically Motivated Cases

This is the second in our series of blogs looking at some of the key points arising from the published decisions of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (“CCF”). In the first blog we discussed INTERPOL’s consideration of the merits of the underlying case. In this blog, we look at the approach taken to requests for deletion of Red Notices in politically motivated cases.

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF's decisions tell us? Part One - Merits Of The Case

A Red Notice (sometimes referred to as a “Red Corner Notice”) is essentially a request by INTERPOL on behalf of one member state to all other member states to locate a suspect or convicted person and take steps to facilitate their surrender to the requesting state, usually through extradition proceedings. It is possible for the subject of a Red Notice to make a request for deletion to INTERPOL.

The UK assumes responsibility for its sanctions policy

Deal or no deal, when the UK’s transition agreement expires at 11pm on 31 December 2020 the country will no longer participate in EU sanctions arrangements or otherwise give effect to EU sanctions regimes. Instead, it will operate a two tier system, devising its own sanctions policies and measures which will be supplemented by sanctions measures imposed as a result of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. 

Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Act 2020 – Bill receives Royal Assent

The Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill received Royal Assent on 22 October 2020. See here for previous blogs charting its passage: Extradition (Provisional) Arrest Bill: a sticking plaster & Extradition (Provisional) Arrest Bill: Second Reading.

The UK reacts to China’s increased pressure on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and its overall human rights record

On Monday 20 July 2020 the UK suspended it's extradition treaty with its former colony Hong Kong, citing the imposition of controversial new security laws on the territory by China. The new law is seen to have changed the very foundation of the agreement between the two states and the treaty has been suspended "immediately and indefinitely". No consideration will be given to reactivating the treaty unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards preventing the misuse of extradition from the UK.

Extradition (Provisional) Arrest Bill: Second Reading

On 22 June 2020 the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill (the Bill) had its second reading in the House of Commons. The contents of the Bill relate to a gap within the current extradition process and are designed to allow police officers, customs officers or service police officers to arrest suspects without a warrant where they are wanted for serious offences in certain trusted countries (currently designated as Australia, Canada, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States of America). 

On its way: The UK-US Bilateral Data Access Agreement

Over four years of negotiations later and the UK-US Bilateral Data Access Agreement (the Agreement) is expected to come into effect next month. The Agreement will enable law enforcement authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to obtain electronic data directly from communication service providers (CSPs) in the other country for the purposes of criminal investigations and prosecutions for serious crime.

Dying hope for a post-Brexit extradition deal

Britain and the EU are unlikely to agree on an alternative to the European arrest warrant. Extradition arrangements between Britain and EU have been low on the list of post-Brexit negotiating priorities.

Yet recent developments in the Madeleine McCann case highlight what the UK stands to lose if no deal is struck on future criminal law enforcement co-operation — and how Brexit has already affected arrangements around the European arrest warrant.

Mutual Legal Assistance in action - Met Police raid London addresses at request of Brazilian authorities

On 14 May 2020 Metropolitan Police officers carried out two search and seizure warrants on behalf of Brazilian prosecutors investigating $5 million in alleged bribes paid to politicians in the state of Amapá in connection with a railroad contract.

What is an Interpol Red Notice and what are the practical implications for Anne Sacoolas?

In a surprising development, Interpol has reportedly issued a Red Notice for Anne Sacoolas in relation to her alleged involvement in the death of 19 year old Harry Dunn last year.  

Mutual Legal Assistance and the US: a more anxious case than usual

The Supreme Court’s recent judgment addresses fundamental legal principles and underscores the UK’s longstanding opposition to the death penalty. It does not go as far as it might but it has brought us a great deal closer to protecting the absolute right to life and underscores the serious and extraordinary scrutiny which must be applied in all cases involving the provision of assistance where there is a risk of the imposition of the death penalty.

What are Interpol Red Notices and how can you get them removed?

Over 13,000 INTERPOL Red Notices were issued last year. Even if a person is not arrested pursuant to a Red Notice, the notice itself will cause considerable difficulties, preventing them from travelling and causing significant reputational damage. This blog looks at how you can challenge an Interpol Red Notice and get it deleted.

More nails in the coffin for Russian Federation extradition requests?

On 9th December 2019 Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot gave her judgment in the cases of Olga Egorova, Dmitry Smychkovsky, Ion Tsurcan and Fryodor Kindrachuk. The Russian Federation had issued separate requests for the extradition of these four requested persons who stand accused of various unrelated offences.

Amendments made to the process of extradition requests under the Extradition Act 2003

While the agreement between the European Union and Norway and Iceland took some 13 years to negotiate and come into force, the UK Government appears to have managed to act much more efficiently. On 10 March 2020, The Secretary of State made Statutory Instrument No. 265 of 2020 titled “The Extradition Act 2003 Amendment to Designations) Order 2020”.

Extradition (Provisional) Arrest Bill: a sticking plaster?

Following on from a reference in the Queen’s Speech last year – the Government has introduced the Extradition (Provisional) Arrest Bill. This Bill amends Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”) to create a new power of arrest without a domestic warrant for extradition purposes where a person has been requested by one of 6 “trusted” countries for a serious offence.

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