Mutual Legal Assistance Request Writer Tool

The Mutual Legal Assistance Request Writer Tool (MLA Tool) was developed by UNODC to assist criminal justice practitioners in drafting expeditiously MLA requests, thereby enhancing cooperation between States and accelerating responses to such requests.

In its revised and expanded version, the Tool is an HTML-based stand-alone application, capable of running on all devices. It provides guidance to practitioners through each step of the drafting process and further helps them draft MLA requests by filling in all appropriate and relevant information.

The new guiding elements in the revised text of the MLA Tool are the following:

  • The integration of additional specific forms or means of international cooperation in criminal matters, including transfer of criminal proceedings and videoconferencing;
  • The inclusion in the part under the title "Any other form of assistance" of references to joint investigations and international cooperation to conduct controlled deliveries;
  • The addition of substantive text in the so called "digital evidence module" (taking into account all pertinent developments in the field of international cooperation to combat cybercrime and covering the following forms of cooperation: expedited preservation of stored computer data; ensuring access to stored computer data; and real-time collection of traffic data); and
  • The streamlining of the asset recovery features of the tool to avoid overlaps and repetition with the traditional MLA features.

The MLA Tool can be linked to the UNODC Directories of Competent National Authorities (CNA)  to enable retrieving CNA contact information for use in the preparation of MLA requests. 

The Tool can also be linked to the knowledge management portal known as Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws on Crime ( SHERLOC ) in order to assist practitioners in getting easy access to a variety of constantly updated information such as national guides, legal provisions relating to international cooperation in criminal matters and other supplementary resources such as manuals, checklists of legal requirements and external links with custom templates and formats of other countries.


Instructions for downloading the tool

Links to download the tool

User manual in English

Installing and uninstalling video demonstration


For further information or assistance, please contact:

Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch
Division for Treaty Affairs
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNODC Legal Mailbox: