Search Legislation

Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003

Section 20: Overseas freezing orders

66.This section implements one of the key measures set out in the 2003 Framework Decision: the requirement to execute an overseas order to freeze evidence for its subsequent use in any proceedings or investigation in a participating country, where the order is made by a court or other authority in that country. The UK is already able to consider requests for mutual legal assistance in similar circumstances, but the 2003 Framework Decision is based on the principle of mutual recognition, and requires the UK to recognise the validity of an overseas order from a participating country, subject to certain conditions, rather than consider it as a request for mutual legal assistance.

67.Subsection (2) defines an overseas freezing order.

68.The section sets out the authorities competent to make overseas freezing orders, and the conditions for executing the order. Provided that the other requirements are met, the UK is obliged to execute orders relating to offences listed in the 2003 Framework Decision. The offences are defined in section 28(5) and (6) as an offence described in Article 3(2) of the 2003 Framework Decision or an offence prescribed (or of a description prescribed) by order.

69.Overseas freezing orders must be accompanied by a certificate. Article 9 of the 2003 Framework Decision requires provision of a certificate, which must follow a standard format containing the details required in order that the receiving authority can execute the order. These will include, for example, details of the issuing authority, the person and offence under investigation, and the evidence sought.

70.Frozen evidence is not automatically provided to the overseas authority that issued the order. It must issue a mutual legal assistance request, either simultaneously with the order, or at a later stage, in order for the evidence to be transmitted. This is provided for in section 24.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources