Model Laws and Treaties

Organized Crime | Trafficking in Persons | Smuggling of Migrants | Firearms | Money-Laundering and Financing of Terrorism | Terrorism | International Cooperation in Criminal Matters | Child Victims and Vitnesses of Crime | Witness Protection | Drug Control

UNODC's model laws were elaborated as tools of technical assistance, to assist governments translate their obligations under international treaties into national legislative provisions. The model laws aim to facilitate the review and amendment of existing legislation as well as the adoption of new legislation. Although some model laws were intended for application in particular legal systems, this is not the case for all model laws, and they rather focus on the substantive obligations arising from the international treaties than on the form, which ought to be tailor-made to the needs of each State. The model provisions are meant to help with, but not to substitute the meticulous process of drafting a law. To the extent permitted by the relevant international conventions, individual States will need to make adjustments to the text to more accurately reflect the fundamental principles of their legal systems and constitutions.

The model legislative provisions are accompanied by commentaries, which serve to explain the legal bases for each provision, and to offer as much useful information as possible on each relevant issue. UNODC stands ready to provide further tailor-made legislative drafting assistance to States, upon request and subject to availability of funds.

Model Legislative Provisions against Organized Crime

The model legislative provisions against organized crime were developed in response to a request made by the General Assembly to the Secretary-General to promote and assist the efforts of Member States to become party to and implement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto. The model legislative provisions will facilitate the review and amendment of existing legislation and the adoption of new legislation by Member States and they are designed to be adapted to the needs of each State, whatever its legal tradition and social, economic, cultural and geographic conditions.

Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC Model Law against Trafficking in Persons was developed to assist States in implementing the provisions contained in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing that Convention.

Smuggling of Migrants

The UNODC Model law against Smuggling of Migrants has been developed to assist States in implementing the provisions contained in the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition

The UNODC Firearms Model Law has been developed to assist States in implementing the provisions contained in the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Money-Laundering and Financing of Terrorism

UNODC has developed, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Commonwealth Secretariat, model laws for both common law and civil law legal systems, to assist countries in setting up their anti-money-laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in full compliance with the relevant international legal instruments, and in particular the 40 + 9 FATF Recommendations, the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Terrorism

UNODC has developed, with contribution by many agencies and entities within the United Nations system, the Model Legislative Provisions against Terrorism, to assist States in implementing the universal legal framework against terrorism.

  • Model Legislative Provisions against Terrorism - English, French

International Cooperation in Criminal Matters

The model legislation on extradition and on mutual assistance in criminal matters was developed by UNODC to assist Member States in giving effect to the provisions of the model treaties approved by the General Assembly, in order to enhance effective international cooperation. The model laws take into consideration the developments occurred after the adoption of the model treaties, in particular the adoption of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption. The reports of past expert working groups on extradition and mutual legal assistance casework also contain guidelines, from a practitioner's perspective, that may be useful to legislative drafting in this area, as well as to national central authorities established to promote international cooperation in criminal matters.

Model Laws

Model Treaties

  • Model Treaty on Extradition (General Assembly resolution 45/116, as amended by General Assembly resolution 52/88) - English
  • Model Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (General Assembly resolution 45/117, as amended by General Assembly resolution 53/112) - English
  • Revised Manuals on the Model Treaties on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters - English

Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Casework Guidelines

Through some informal expert working groups, UNODC gathered prominent practitioners in their fields to identify, capture and make available to other practitioners best international practice, including lessons learned, practical guides and suggestions of good practice. The reports of the Expert Working Groups are widely used in daily practice by justice systems around the world:

  • Report of the Expert Working Group on Mutual Legal Assistance and Related International Confiscation, Vienna, 15-19 February 1993. - English
  • Report of the Informal Expert Working Group on Mutual Legal Assistance Casework Best Practice, Vienna, 3-7 December 2001 - English, Russian, Spanish
  • Report of the Informal Expert Working Group on Effective Extradition Casework Practice, Vienna, 12-16 July 2004. - English

Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime

UNODC has developed, in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Bureau for Children's Rights, a model law to assist States in adapting their national legislation to the provisions contained in the Guidelines on Justice in Matters involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime (resolution 2005/20 of the Economic and Social Council), which forms part of the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice, as well as in other relevant international instruments.

  • Justice in Matters involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime: Model Law and Related Commentary - English, French, Spanish

Witness Protection

  • UNODC Model Law on Witness Protection (undergoing review)

Drug Control

The UNODC Model Legislative Provisions on Drug Control are under development to assist States in the implementation of their obligations under the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. They aim at establishing control measures to ensure availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, and at preventing their diversion for illicit purposes, as well as at subjecting precursor substances to a system of control.

  • Model Legislative Provisions on Drug Control (undergoing review)

 

For comments or other related queries, kindly write to the email: legal@unodc.org.