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Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003

Section 8: Sending requests for assistance

39.This section makes provision for the transmission of UK requests to overseas authorities. It enables requests made under section 7 to be sent directly from the requesting authority in the UK to the relevant overseas authority, rather than via the central authorities of the two countries. This is a new arrangement. Under existing powers, direct transmission is possible only in cases of urgency. Direct transmission is a key tenet of the MLAC, which these provisions implement and, in general, where a request is destined for the EU it will in future be sent directly to the appropriate overseas authority from the UK authority making the request.

40.As there will be situations where direct transmission is not possible, for example where the particular executing authority is not known, where direct transmission is not permitted under the MLAC, or where the requested state is outside the EU, subsection (2) retains the option of indirect transmission via the Secretary of State (or the Lord Advocate in Scotland).

41.Subsection (3) implements Article 6(4) of the MLAC, and permits urgent requests to be submitted via Interpol or any other body able to receive it under any provisions adopted under the Treaty on European Union. This will permit, for example, EU Member States to make a request to their national member of Eurojust, a body established by Council Decision under Part VI of the Treaty on European Union with a view to reinforcing the fight in Member States against serious crime.

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