Washington International Law Journal


To constrain transnational crime effectively and strengthen mutual legal assistance mechanisms among member states, the United Nations adopted four Suppression Conventions: the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, the 1999 UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the 2003 UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the 2005 UN Convention against Corruption. Ratified globally, these conventions contain many similar or identical mutual legal assistance obligations and non-mandatory measures with which state parties either must or should comply. Afghanistan is a state party to all four UN Suppression Conventions.

This article examines the Afghan domestic mutual legal assistance mechanisms and the extent to which they comply with the requirements of the UN Suppression Conventions. This article identifies and analyzes the relevant provisions of Afghanistan’s domestic law and proceeds to compare and contrast those provisions with the requirements set forth by the UN Suppression Conventions. The resulting analysis reveals how Afghanistan has either fully or partially complied or else completely failed to comply with its mutual legal assistance obligations. The article also reveals the extent to which Afghanistan has either fully or partially incorporated or else entirely failed to incorporate the UN Suppression Conventions’ non-mandatory mutual legal assistance measures.

This article then exposes loopholes in the Afghan mutual legal assistance mechanisms. These include serious problems and inconsistency in use of legal terminology; setting unrealistic and inconsistent time frames and deadlines for taking or completing actions; and designating competent authorities and a central authority. The article also reveals how the implementation of domestic legislation confuses mutual legal assistance with extradition and lacks clear references to the international obligations arising from the UN Suppression Conventions.

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