The Attorney-General’s Chambers is Bermuda’s Central Authority for MLA in criminal matters. The Central Authority handles and processes all formal requests for assistance in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) (Bermuda) Act 1994, the Proceeds of Crime Act 1997, the Proceeds of Crime (Designated Countries and Territories) Order 1998 as well as any applicable Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. Additionally (in the event that a request is not subject to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty), matters are processed on the basis of reciprocity.
Types of Requests
The types of legal assistance which Bermuda may provide in respect of criminal matters include the following:
- Taking of evidence
- Service of process
- Search and seizure
- Enforcement of a foreign confiscation order
- Request for the attendance of a person
- Request for custody of persons in transit
- Obtaining a production order
Form of Request
A request by a Jurisdiction for legal assistance from Bermuda should contain information about the Court or authority executing the matter, a description of legal proceedings or investigations pending, information about the offence involved stating the time and place of the offence, together with the statutory or legal provisions that are applicable in the Requesting Jurisdiction.
Further information will be required about the measures requested, and when appropriate, the capacity in which a person or matter is to be investigated.
Once a request has been made, should you require further assistance or wish to amend details, you are required to draft a supplementary request. Where evidence is to be gathered in Court, it is useful to submit the specific questions to which answers are requested.
When you have received the requested assistance, it is only to be used for the purposes set out in your request.
If the matter is urgent or if execution of the request is desired within a specific time limit, the reasons for the urgency shall be stated.
The following is a helpful list as to what should be included in a Request for Assistance to Bermuda:
- Nature of request
- Statement of facts
- Criminal offences / applicable legislation / penalties
- Purpose of the request
- Assistance requested (Specific written questions should be provided where particular information is required of a witness)
- Reciprocity undertaking (This undertaking of reciprocity should provide that the Requesting Jurisdiction will comply with a future request by Bermuda for similar assistance in a criminal matter involving an offence that corresponds to the foreign offence for which assistance is sought)
- Liaison person’s contact details
Transmissions of Requests
Completed requests may be sent by the Central Authority of the country making the Request to the following address:
The Attorney-General's Chambers
4th Floor, Global House
43 Church Street
In cases of urgent requests, a copy of the request may also be sent via facsimile to (441) 292-3608 or via e-mail to email@example.com. However, a hard copy of the request is still required.