Mutual Legal Assistance
HM Procureur is the central authority for providing mutual legal assistance. This is the process whereby one jurisdiction (the requested state) takes steps to assist another (the requesting state) for the purposes of investigations or proceedings under the criminal justice system (including in rem civil proceedings related to the proceeds of crime) in the requesting state.
These steps may include one or more of the following measures:
Obtaining documents for use as evidence in the requesting state,
Freezing, seizure, or confiscation of assets within the requested state (and where appropriate sharing those assets with the requesting state),
Freezing, seizure, or confiscation of the instrumentalities of crime within the requested state,
Taking evidence on oath from persons within the requested state which can then be admitted as evidence in the requesting state,
Service of judicial documents from the requesting state (e.g. a witness summons) on persons within the requested state,
Facilitating the voluntary appearance of persons for the purpose of providing information or testimony to the requesting state.
Because of their coercive nature, the first three measures listed above are subject to a dual criminality test. In broad terms this means that assistance will only be provided if the criminal conduct underlying the request for assistance is conduct which would constitute an indictable offence under the law of the Bailiwick if it occurred within the Bailiwick.
In addition, a number of international instruments relating to mutual legal assistance have been extended to the Bailiwick, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds of Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Where a request for mutual legal assistance is made under one of these instruments, HM Procureur will comply with any obligations imposed under that instrument that are relevant to the request in question (for example, the obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption in respect of the return of assets to the requesting jurisdiction).
As Guernsey is not a member state of the European Union, it is not subject to Directive 2014/41EU for implementing European Investigation Orders. Therefore, requests for assistance from relevant authorities of member states of the European Union should be made under the mechanisms outlined above.
A Handbook setting out further information on the provision of mutual legal assistance is currently under preparation. In the meantime, an earlier version is available here MLA Handbook [221kb]but please note that some of the contact points in this document have been changed and the following contact points for assistance should be used:
Financial Intelligence Enquiries
Economic Crime Division, Law Enforcement
St Peter Port
Tel: 00 44 (0)1481 225824
If you have a question relating to the legislation concerning mutual assistance matters in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, queries should be directed to the office of:
Law Officers of the Crown
St. James Chambers
St. Peter Port
Tel: 00 44 (0) 1481 221600
The Law Officers of the Crown are open between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Public Holidays.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is in the same time zone as the United Kingdom.