Mutual Legal Assistance
Any country may make a request to Ireland for legal assistance in criminal investigations or criminal proceedings.
Relevant Irish Law
The law that allows Ireland to provide mutual legal assistance to and to ask for mutual assistance from other countries is contained in Part VII of the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008. The law includes provisions that allow Ireland to:
- take evidence in connection with criminal investigations or proceedings in another country
- search for and seize material on behalf of another country
- provide mutual assistance in relation to revenue offences
- serve a summons or any other court process on a person in Ireland to appear as a defendant or as a witness in another country
- serve a document recording a court decision on a person in Ireland
- enforce, in Ireland, confiscation and forfeiture orders made in another country
- transfer a person imprisoned in Ireland to another country to give evidence in criminal proceedings there, to be identified there, or to assist proceedings there
Delivery of Requests
A request for mutual legal assistance may be sent directly to:
The Central Authority for Mutual Assistance
Department of Justice and Equality
51 St. Stephen’s Green
The request may also be sent through diplomatic channels to the Central Authority.
Relevant International Conventions
Ireland is a party to the following international conventions:
- The Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (1959) and its Additional Protocol
- United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988)
- The Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds of Crime (1990)
- The OECD Convention on combating bribery of Foreign Public Official in international business transactions (1997)
- The Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (2003)
Requests made outside the provisions of an international convention will be decided on an individual basis.
Who may make Requests for Mutual Legal Assistance?
Requests for mutual legal assistance must be made by a court or a tribunal. Any other authority in a country, such as ministries, departments of justice, Attorney-Generals and public prosecutors, which can legally do so, may also make a request.
Direct Contact Details for the Central Authority for Mutual Legal Assistance
Phone: + 353 1 408 6108
Fax: + 353 1 408 6117
For further information, see Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters: A Guide to Irish Procedures (PDF - 122KB).