Chapter 12

Guiding principles of the MACMA review

Assistance and international obligations

12.28As the landscape for transnational crime continues to expand, there has been a vast amount of activity surrounding mutual legal assistance on the international stage. There has been a move towards recognising that foreign assistance can, and should, be provided through a wide variety of mechanisms. Countries should authorise their competent authorities to use the most efficient means to cooperate544 and “to co-operate with each other to the widest extent possible for the purposes of criminal matters”.545

12.29New Zealand has an important role to play in combating cross-border crime. We aim to be a good world neighbour and should ensure we are assisting foreign countries in the best way that we can. Where appropriate, this will entail making available tools that New Zealand can employ in domestic criminal matters to foreign investigations and prosecutions.

Law enforcement and human rightsTop

12.30Underlying the gateway and gatekeeping roles of MACMA is the need to strike an appropriate balance between law enforcement and the protection of human rights. While mutual legal assistance does not involve the direct and far-reaching intrusion into the personal liberty of the individual that occurs in extradition, with the surrendering of a person to a foreign country for trial, it still has important human rights implications. This is because, for example, the provision of witness documents could lead to the securing of a conviction and subsequent execution of a person.

12.31International criminal cooperation presents the challenge of balancing the protection of the individual with the larger, international societal interest in combating crime.

Guiding principlesTop

12.32The observations made above have shaped the following guiding principles of this MACMA review:

These are supplementary to the global principles of this review.546
544Financial Action Task Force International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism & Proliferation (February 2012) at recommendation 40.
545Harare Scheme, above n 536, at [1(1)].
546See ch 1 at [1.5].