In February 2022, the IIJ organised a second workshop to support Senegal’s Ministry of Justice with the finalisation of a draft Law on International Judicial Cooperation. If adopted, the new law, which creates a legal framework for mutual legal assistance (MLA), extradition, international prisoner transfer, and joint investigations, would represent the first major overhaul of Senegalese legislation in the field of judicial cooperation in fifty years.
This workshop was convened with support from the Government of the United States and brought together 35 practitioners to improve the structure and content of the text and ensure it complied with internationally agreed standards. Participants included investigative judges and prosecutors from the Courts of Appeal of Saint-Louis and Thiès and the High Court of Dakar, as well scholars in criminal and procedural law.
The discussions were enriched by the feedback provided by guest speakers from the Central Authorities of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, who shared examples of lessons learned from their longstanding experience in dealing with MLA and extradition requests. A representative from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted the importance of including provisions for requesting electronic evidence from service providers based outside of Senegal.
The draft law is underpinned by two principles: simplification and modernity. On one hand, it aims at boosting regional and international cooperation by eliminating ineffective procedures causing unnecessary delays in processing and executing requests for assistance. On the other hand, the text seeks to integrate new concepts that were not conceivable, technologically or otherwise, in 1971 – when the current legal framework for MLA and extradition in Senegal was established.
For more information on this workshop or the IIJ Global Central Authorities Initiative, please contact IIJ Programme Manager, Adrián Carbajo.