A model bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters prepared for the Republic of Uzbekistan

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The project “Promoting transparency and the fight against economic crime” is currently supporting the authorities of Uzbekistan in strengthening the country’s legal and institutional framework for mutual legal assistance (mutual legal assistance) in criminal matters.

In view of the great interest shown by the authorities in exploring new avenues of international cooperation in the field of mutual legal assistance, the Crime and Economic Cooperation Division (ECCD) has undertaken a series of activities aimed at sensitize and familiarize relevant stakeholders in Uzbekistan with existing multilateral and bilateral cooperation instruments.

In this regard, following the International Conference on the “Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters” held on July 23, 2021 and the legal review of the current legislative framework of Uzbekistan in relation to In accordance with the provisions of the Mutual Legal Assistance Convention and its Additional Protocols, the ECCD has drawn up a model bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance. The model agreement that was presented to the Uzbek authorities respects the specificities of the different legal systems and contains a set of provisions that can be adjusted on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the legal requirements of the different jurisdictions.

After the finalization of the first project, the project organized two working meetings with representatives of the International Legal Department of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan, which is the designated institution responsible for drafting and negotiating bilateral agreements in the matter. criminal. During the meetings, the expert from the Council of Europe explained the rationale and provided examples of specific jurisdictions for which some of the provisions will be mandatory. In addition, the discussion focused on possible ways to reconcile some of the demands of EU countries with Uzbekistan’s legal framework.

While encouraging the national authorities to proceed to the conclusion of bilateral agreements, in particular with the countries where there is a significant “turnover” in terms of mutual legal assistance and with neighboring countries, the ECCD strongly advocated for prioritization of the multilateral approach to international legal cooperation, including in the area of ​​mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Since it is based on harmonized standards applied by all parties, multilateral cooperation facilitates the work of competent national institutions and legal practitioners and contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of activities in the field of mutual legal assistance. . It also saves a lot of time, effort, expert and financial resources which are usually invested in separate negotiation with different states.

This activity was organized within the framework of the project “Promoting transparency and action against economic crime” within the framework of the program for the rule of law in Central Asia 2020-2023 which is a joint initiative co-financed by the Union European Union and the Council of Europe. and implemented by the Council of Europe. The project aims to build capacity to fight and prevent economic crime in five Central Asian countries, including Uzbekistan.


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