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Workshop 1: Enhancing International Law Enforcement Cooperation, Including Extradition Measures

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2005
27 pages
This background paper for a workshop on enhancing international law enforcement cooperation (workshop at the 11th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, April 18-25, 2005, in Bangkok) discusses international cooperation in criminal matters, including extradition and mutual legal assistance.
An analysis of the evolution of informal and formal international cooperation notes that informal and unilateral actions to deal with nations' common concerns with crime across national borders have been unsatisfactory. More structured forms of cooperation in law enforcement are more recent. These include the posting of liaison officers; bilateral and multilateral agreements and arrangements regarding law enforcement cooperation and the sharing of law enforcement information; and cooperation with such international mechanisms as the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), the European Police Office (Europol), and the Schengen Agreement. Both informal and formal law enforcement cooperation, however, have been hampered by a number of problems, such as the diversity of legal systems and law enforcement structures, the absence of channels of communication for the exchange of information, and diversity in approaches and priorities. Separate sections of the paper discuss international treaties on conditions and procedures for extradition and mutual legal assistance, which is generally based on bilateral or multilateral treaties. Other sections of the paper address international cooperation for purposes of confiscating the proceeds of crime, the transfer of proceedings in criminal matters, and the need for well-trained and motivated personnel in the field of international law enforcement cooperation. Ten recommendations are offered to the 11th Congress for how member states of the United Nations and the United Nations as an institution can improve international cooperation in criminal matters. 75 notes