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Judicial Assistance and Mutual Cooperation in Penal Matters

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses multilateral mutual assistance in criminal matters treaties (MLATs) and multilateral agreements with MLAT provisions. It considers the substantive components of MLATs. The chapter then reviews the procedure for executing an MLAT request and the potential rights of defendants and third persons. MLATs are important because they make assistance obligatory as a matter of international law, whereas their main alternative—letters rogatory—are executed solely on the basis of comity. MLATs offer an opportunity to obtain foreign evidence in forms admissible in U.S. courts, especially in the context of stringent U.S. evidence rules such as hearsay and the right to confront witnesses that lack analogues in inquisitorial legal systems.

Keywords: international law; judicial assistance; MLAT; mutual cooperation



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