Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

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Getting Assistance from Japan: Checklist for drafting a request

1. The name and other facts to identify the suspect or defendant (to the extent known)
 - Also, if the request is with regards to interview/ obtain a statement from victims or any other person, identification, whereabouts, etc. needs to be clearly stated as well.
2. Facts that constitutes offence 
 - In consideration of dual criminality for mutual legal assistance, we would like to be flexible to the extent that as long as a part of alleged action taken by the offender in question constitutes some criminal offence in Japan, we are inclined to determine that your request fulfill our dual criminality requirement. However, if no details are given, we would be in a position to judge dual criminality just because we do not have the exact same category of the offence.
 If the details of the alleged offence to be provided, we would have more flexibility to assess the dual criminality. Also, the information would help us to understand your case better thus our level of execution of your request probably be more suitable.
 In addition, the extra detail may save us both the time to send back the inquiry.

3. Procedure
 - Please describe the nature and the stage of the inevestigation or prosecution which needs the evidence.

4. Offense and applicable laws 
 Please specify which offense has been committed.
 - Please also provide a copy of applicable legal provisions. The legal provisions which are cross-referred should be also attached.
5. Requested assistance
 - Please specify what exactly you requests as assistance.
 - Please also provide the reason why the assistance in question is necessary in light of the criminal fact written in the request. i.e. based on the criminal fact above, why the assistance is requested?
6. Attached supplementary documents / evidence
 - Please provide relevant documents and evidence (e.g. the court order) .
 - In particular, if you request a coercive measure, substantive evidence should be provided.
7. Deadline
 - Please clarify the deadline (if any) for the assistance with a reason.
8. Confidentiality
 - Please make a statement that the provided evidence shall be treated in a confidential manner within your jurisdiction.
Lastly, please also make sure that
 (ⅰ)  All the refusal causes or any other restrictions are not applied. (See refusal causes for  non-MLAT or with MLAT) and
 (ⅱ)  Japanese translations for all the documents should be attached.