- “Mutual Legal Assistance” (MLA) means the provision of evidence, which is necessary for the criminal investigation of a foreign state, based on the request by that state. Also,
- MLA primarily means the assistance between the prosecuting and investigating authorities. “Investigating authorities” means any authority which conducts investigation, including, for instance, Juge d’instruction in
- Japan can provide assistance even without a Treaty. In this case, assistance is provided as a matter of international comity based on the principle of reciprocity.
- If a request comes from a Treaty party, assistance is provided as a matter of legal obligation under a treaty. “Legal obligation” means that the investigation authorities of the requested Party (i.e. not the courts) need to take every possible measure in their power to execute the request.
- See Laws and Treaties.
International Affairs Division,
Criminal Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Justice
External Links Japanese Government International Bodies - UNODC MLAT Partners