Guideline 7: Communication
Requesting jurisdictions should promptly discuss relevant elements of the investigative and legal strategy as well as a case outline and subject profile with all involved jurisdictions, where appropriate.
Early communication of the case outline and subject profile allows the involved jurisdictions to understand the needs of the requesting jurisdiction, setting the tone required for efficient international cooperation that can be maintained throughout the investigation and the asset recovery process.
Proactively sharing the relevant elements of the investigative and legal strategy (see Guideline 3) with the involved jurisdictions enables both the requested and the requesting jurisdiction to identify any potential challenges or difficulties (e.g. institutional, legal, or capacity based hurdles) that may hinder the effectiveness of the strategy within any of the involved jurisdictions, and allows the identification of ways to overcome them. This is also to be understood as an important trust building measure (see Guideline 6).
Involved jurisdictions should designate a focal point of contact and inform all concerned parties.
The focal point of contact is a person who effectively acts as a liaison between the requesting jurisdiction and other involved jurisdictions. It is the first point of communication, assisting in the co-ordination between the relevant authorities of the involved jurisdictions. Absence of focal points of contact may hamper or severely limit the effective initiation or continuation of co-ordination and cooperation among involved jurisdictions. The lack of clarity on the designated focal points at the beginning of the process may likewise affect cooperation between jurisdictions, resulting in unnecessary delays.
Assigning a focal point of contact may enhance clear and efficient communication among the involved jurisdictions. The designation of a focal point at the beginning of the process complements the direct communication that is cornerstone to the asset recovery process. (see Guideline 6). The involved jurisdictions should inform one another, as well as all their own relevant domestic agencies (see Guideline 3), as early as possible about their focal points for the case, and agree to use the channels of communication available to them (see Guideline 6).
The designated focal point should preferably be the lead investigator or prosecutor of the investigation or case. Where this is not possible or advisable (e.g. the lead investigator or prosecutor is not fluent in a foreign language), the case officer responsible for MLA should be used as the focal point.