Mutual Legal Assistance Request Writer Tool

Mutual legal assistance is one of the most decisive weapons States have to fight serious international crime. For mutual legal assistance requests to be effective, they often need to be generated quickly and in such a way as to avoid legal obstacles that can arise when criminal justice practitioners from different legal systems attempt to work together.

The Mutual Legal Assistance Request Writer Tool (MLA Tool) has been developed by UNODC to assist States to draft requests with a view to facilitate and strengthen international cooperation.

The MLA tool:

  • Requires virtually no prior knowledge or experience with drafting mutual legal assistance requests
  • Helps to avoid incomplete requests for mutual legal assistance and therefore minimizes the risk of delay or refusal.
  • Is easily adjustable to any country's substantive and procedural law
  • Enables the user to retrieve key information on treaties and national legislation
  • Features an integrated case-management tracking system for incoming and outgoing requests

Step by step, the MLA Tool guides the casework practitioner through the request process for each type of mutual assistance, using a series of templates. Before progressing from one screen to the next, the drafter is prompted if essential information has been omitted. Finally the tool consolidates all data entered and automatically generates a correct, complete and effective request for final editing and signature.

The MLA Tool is currently available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Bosnian, Croatian Montenegrin and Serbian

Please note that it is possible to translate the MLA tool into other languages. All translations available have been made possible by extra budgetary funds or States' efforts to translate the tool into their languages. To initiate such translations or for further information email

Access to the MLA Tool is reserved for justice system practitioners.

  ATTENTION: The Tool is at the final stage of redevelopment and will be released, in its new form, shortly. Interested users may wish to abstain from requesting access to the Tool until further notice by the Secretariat.