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Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003

Section 3: General requirements for service of process

29.This section, with section 4, replaces and expands on section 2 of the 1990 Act, which governs the service of UK legal process to persons in other countries. The section extends that provision to enable service of all documents issued or made for the purposes of criminal proceedings, making it consistent with the broad interpretation of “procedural documents” envisaged in the MLAC and the Schengen Convention. It does not provide for the service of documents relating to administrative proceedings, as the UK does not have proceedings of this nature.

30.Subsection (3) creates an obligation on the person at whose request the process is issued to provide a translation where he is aware that the recipient does not understand English.

31.Subsections (4) to (7) replace section 2(3) and (4) of the 1990 Act. The serving of process does not impose an obligation under UK law to comply with that process, with the result that failure to comply does not constitute contempt of court. However, if the process is later served on the person when they are in the UK, the usual consequences for non-compliance will apply. This does not represent any change from existing practice.

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