AUSTRALIA AND China will lock arms over criminal matters, with confirmation of a new treaty of mutual legal assistance between the governments of each country.
The treaty follows a report by Lawyers Weekly in late March of the Australia-China Legal Profession Development Program, which brought over 10 Chinese lawyers to learn from both our legal system and our approaches to practice management.
“Australia’s ability to successfully combat domestic and transnational crime is greatly assisted by the development of strong co-operative relationships with key players in the region,” Minister for Justice and Customs, David Johnson said.
“The treaty formalises the processes that enable Australia and China to provide government-to-government assistance in the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes.”
Under the treaty, China and Australia will provide to each other a range of assistance including the service of documents, taking of evidence, search and seizure, arrangements for witnesses to give evidence or assist in investigations, and the location, restraint and forfeiture of proceeds of crime.
“The treaty accords with Australia’s international obligations and the requirements of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987,” Johnston said.
“The Mutual Assistance Treaty with China will reinforce our countries’ law enforcement relationship and ensure effective co-operation between Australia and China now and into the future,” he said.
“Australia is working to broaden its international legal co-operation relationship with China, which will strengthen our ability to combat crime in the region.”