On 27 May, an article from Dentons says that MLAT are one of the most important tools available to law enforcement agencies conducting international investigations. Recently, decisions in Canada and the UK highlighted both their necessity as well as their limitations in respect of these investigations. The recent cases involved limits to MLAT evidence in Canadian criminal trials; and saying that international investigations require international cooperation. The article says that, taken together, the cases illustrate both the necessity for MLAT in international investigations, the difficulties with relying upon them, and their tensions with domestic laws. It warns that the upshot of both decisions is most likely a reduction in net total enforcement efforts in both Canada and the UK. Enforcement authorities, prosecutors, and defence counsel already face enormous resource, staffing, logistics, costs, timing and legal issues when multi-jurisdictional investigations occur. The cases expose a further difficulty: the frailty of international investigations when success is tied directly to the use of (or conscious choice to forgo the use of) MLAT processes.
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