The Department of Justice (DOJ) hosts the 7th Meeting of Senior Officers on the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Among Like-Minded ASEAN Member Countries (ASEAN MLAT) on 10-12 December 2013 in Manila. This is the first time for DOJ to host this Meeting.
The Meeting is being held for senior legal officials of the ASEAN Member States to discuss the current best practices in the implementation of the ASEAN MLAT. The Meeting is held back to back with a Workshop on the application of the ASEAN MLAT in combating cybercrime.
Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLA) is the process by which a State conducting investigation or prosecution of criminal cases or related proceedings requests legal assistance from another State, the most common of which, includes, obtaining evidence or taking voluntary statements from persons, recovery or forfeiture of property or proceeds of crime. MLA requests have increased because evidence and illegal proceeds of crime are often located outside the State where the crime was committed.
The ASEAN MLAT is an effective legal tool to combat transnational crimes in the ASEAN region.
For the Philippines, the DOJ is the Central Authority that makes and receives requests for assistance made under the ASEAN MLAT and bilateral MLATs.
The ASEAN MLAT was adopted and signed in Kuala Lumpur on 29 November 2004 by 8 of the ASEAN Member Countries, including the Philippines. Myanmar and Thailand signed as original Parties on 17 January 2006.