Mutual Legal Assistance Requests Made by Canada
Requests Made under Treaties/Conventions
Where assistance is sought from a country that is a party to a mutual legal assistance agreement with Canada, the individual agreement will set out the types of assistance that are available to Canada. Most agreements provide for wide measures of cooperation and include the following:
- Search and seizure;
- Compelling the production of documentary or physical evidence;
- Compelling witness statements or testimony, including by video/audio link;
- Transferring sentenced persons to give evidence or to assist in a Canadian investigation;
- Lending court exhibits;
- Enforcing restraint, seizure and forfeiture orders; and
- Enforcing criminal fines.
The IAG provides Canadian police and prosecutors with a standard Treaty Request Template to assist them in drafting their request.
Canadian police and prosecutors are encouraged to contact the IAG to determine whether a mutual legal assistance request is necessary to obtain the assistance sought and, if yes, whether the assistance is covered by an applicable agreement and what is necessary to meet its specific requirements.
Requests Made to Non-Treaty Countries
Some countries will provide mutual legal assistance to Canada even where no agreement is in place.
The IAG provides Canadian police and prosecutors with a standard Non-Treaty Request Template to assist them in drafting their request.
Canadian police and prosecutors are encouraged to contact the IAG to determine whether a mutual legal assistance request is necessary to obtain the assistance needed and, if yes, whether the country from which assistance is required will cooperate without a mutual legal assistance agreement.
Resources (Requests by Canada)
- Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act
- Canada Treaty Information
- Chapter 3 (Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters), of the International Assistance Group Deskbook
- Organization of American States Information Exchange Network for Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition
- Treaty Request Template (downloadable template)
- Non-Treaty Request Template (downloadable template)
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