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Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) in criminal matters in the UK and in developing countries: A scoping study

Dr Julinda Beqiraj

Organised crime causes a variety of issues ranging from social to economic, at both the micro and macro levels. In addition to the efforts to address crime within individual States, there is an ever-increasing need to be able to combat criminal activity that extends beyond national borders. Among the various instruments that assist States in this respect, Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA), is the formal means by which States cooperate by requesting and providing assistance to each other in order to obtain evidence for criminal investigations or proceedings.

This scoping study on 'MLA in criminal matters in the UK and in developing countries' provides some preliminary responses to the following questions.

• What Mutual Legal Assistance requests on criminal matters does the UK receive? From which countries and what is the typology of assistance required?

• How does the UK co-operate with other countries on MLA in criminal matters?

• To what extent are MLA requests used among developing countries and how do they operate in practice?

• How can we improve the capacity to deal with MLA, both in the UK and in developing countries?

• How can the FCDO improve prospects for criminal justice collaboration with and among other jurisdictions?

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