It is the rare corruption investigation today that does not cross one or more national boundaries. The bribe payer is located in one country, the bribe taker in a second, and the bribe stashed in a third. Successful prosecution of the payer and the taker and recovery of assets requires collecting information in multiple jurisdictions, and though obtaining evidence abroad has progressed far beyond sending a letter rogatory and hoping for the best, the process is still involved. A misstep can delay receipt of needed material by months if not years and in some cases can permanently bar its receipt.
How to speed the process of obtaining evidence from another country while avoiding common missteps is the focus of a four-week, online course offered by the International Anticorruption Academy April 12 through May 8, 2021. As the course description explains, it will cover not only the formal request and receipt of information for use at trial, but informal avenues for obtaining leads, “tips,” and intelligence to advance an ongoing investigation. The two methods, collectively termed Mutual Legal Assistance or MLA, require investigators, prosecutors, and increasingly defense counsel to combine knowledge of domestic and international law with a practical savvy about how to get things done. The instructor, yours truly, will cover both with the help of guest lecturers who will discuss use of the UNODC’s MLA writer tool and obtaining evidence from the United States and Switzerland.
An outline of the topics to be covered (with welcome input from a certain GWU adjunct law professor — thank Tom) is here and a bibliography here. Comments on either welcome. Registration information is here.