8 Sending requests for assistance
(1) A request for assistance under section 7 may be sent—
(a) to a court exercising jurisdiction in the place where the evidence is
(b) to any authority recognised by the government of the country in
question as the appropriate authority for receiving requests of that
(2) Alternatively, if it is a request by a judicial authority or a designated
prosecuting authority it may be sent to the Secretary of State (in Scotland, the
Lord Advocate) for forwarding to a court or authority mentioned in subsection
(3) In cases of urgency, a request for assistance may be sent to—
(a) the International Criminal Police Organisation, or
(b) any body or person competent to receive it under any provisions
adopted under the Treaty on European Union,
for forwarding to any court or authority mentioned in subsection (1).
9 Use of evidence obtained
(1) This section applies to evidence obtained pursuant to a request for assistance
under section 7.
(2) The evidence may not without the consent of the appropriate overseas
authority be used for any purpose other than that specified in the request.
(3) When the evidence is no longer required for that purpose (or for any other
purpose for which such consent has been obtained), it must be returned to the
appropriate overseas authority, unless that authority indicates that it need not
(4) In exercising the discretion conferred by section 25 of the Criminal Justice Act
1988 (c. 33) or Article 5 of the Criminal Justice (Evidence, Etc.) (Northern
Ireland) Order 1988 (S.I. 1988/ 1847 (N.I. 17)) (exclusion of evidence otherwise
admissible) in relation to a statement contained in the evidence, the court must
(a) to whether it was possible to challenge the statement by questioning the
person who made it, and
(b) if proceedings have been instituted, to whether the local law allowed
the parties to the proceedings to be legally represented when the
evidence was being obtained.
(5) In Scotland, the evidence may be received in evidence without being sworn to
by witnesses, so far as that may be done without unfairness to either party.
(6) In this section, the appropriate overseas authority means the authority
recognised by the government of the country in question as the appropriate
authority for receiving requests of the kind in question.
10 Domestic freezing orders
(1) If it appears to a judicial authority in the United Kingdom, on an application
made by a person mentioned in subsection (4)—
(a) that proceedings in respect of a listed offence have been instituted or
such an offence is being investigated,
(b) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is evidence in a
participating country which satisfies the requirements of subsection
(c) that a request has been made, or will be made, under section 7 for the
evidence to be sent to the authority making the request,
the judicial authority may make a domestic freezing order in respect of the
(2) A domestic freezing order is an order for protecting evidence which is in the
participating country pending its transfer to the United Kingdom.
(3) The requirements are that the evidence—
(a) is on premises specified in the application in the participating country,
(b) is likely to be of substantial value (whether by itself or together with
other evidence) to the proceedings or investigation,
(c) is likely to be admissible in evidence at a trial for the offence, and
(d) does not consist of or include items subject to legal privilege.
(4) The application may be made—
(a) in relation to England and Wales and Northern Ireland, by a constable,
(b) in relation to Scotland, by the Lord Advocate or a procurator fiscal.
(5) The judicial authorities are—
(a) in relation to England and Wales, any judge or justice of the peace,
(b) in relation to Scotland, any judge of the High Court or sheriff,
(c) in relation to Northern Ireland, any judge or resident magistrate.
(6) This section does not prejudice the generality of the power to make a request
for assistance under section 7.
11 Sending freezing orders
(1) A domestic freezing order made in England and Wales or Northern Ireland is
to be sent to the Secretary of State for forwarding to—
(a) a court exercising jurisdiction in the place where the evidence is
(b) any authority recognised by the government of the country in question
as the appropriate authority for receiving orders of that kind.
(2) A domestic freezing order made in Scotland is to be sent to the Lord Advocate
for forwarding to such a court or authority.
(3) The judicial authority is to send the order to the Secretary of State or the Lord
Advocate before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with its being
(4) The order must be accompanied by a certificate giving the specified
information and, unless the certificate indicates when the judicial authority
expects such a request to be made, by a request under section 7 for the evidence
to be sent to the authority making the request.
(5) The certificate must include a translation of it into an appropriate language of
the participating country (if that language is not English).
(6) The certificate must be signed by or on behalf of the judicial authority who
made the order and must include a statement as to the accuracy of the
information given in it.
The signature may be an electronic signature.
12 Variation or revocation of freezing orders
(1) The judicial authority that made a domestic freezing order may vary or revoke
it on an application by a person mentioned below.
(2) The persons are—
(a) the person who applied for the order,
(b) in relation to England and Wales and Northern Ireland, a prosecuting
(c) in relation to Scotland, the Lord Advocate,
(d) any other person affected by the order.
Assisting overseas authorities to obtain evidence in the UK
13 Requests for assistance from overseas authorities
(1) Where a request for assistance in obtaining evidence in a part of the United
Kingdom is received by the territorial authority for that part, the authority
(a) if the conditions in section 14 are met, arrange for the evidence to be
obtained under section 15, or
(b) direct that a search warrant be applied for under or by virtue of section
16 or 17 or, in relation to evidence in Scotland, 18.
(2) The request for assistance may be made only by—
(a) a court exercising criminal jurisdiction, or a prosecuting authority, in a
country outside the United Kingdom,
(b) any other authority in such a country which appears to the territorial
authority to have the function of making such requests for assistance,
(c) any international authority mentioned in subsection (3).
(3) The international authorities are—
(a) the International Criminal Police Organisation,
(b) any other body or person competent to make a request of the kind to
which this section applies under any provisions adopted under the
Treaty on European Union.
14 Powers to arrange for evidence to be obtained
(1) The territorial authority may arrange for evidence to be obtained under section
15 if the request for assistance in obtaining the evidence is made in connection
(a) criminal proceedings or a criminal investigation, being carried on
outside the United Kingdom,
(b) administrative proceedings, or an investigation into an act punishable
in such proceedings, being carried on there,
(c) clemency proceedings, or proceedings on an appeal before a court
against a decision in administrative proceedings, being carried on, or
intended to be carried on, there.
(2) In a case within subsection (1)(a) or (b), the authority may arrange for the
evidence to be so obtained only if the authority is satisfied—
(a) that an offence under the law of the country in question has been
committed or that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that
such an offence has been committed, and
(b) that proceedings in respect of the offence have been instituted in that
country or that an investigation into the offence is being carried on
An offence includes an act punishable in administrative proceedings.
(3) The territorial authority is to regard as conclusive a certificate as to the matters
mentioned in subsection (2)(a) and (b) issued by any authority in the country
in question which appears to him to be the appropriate authority to do so.
(4) If it appears to the territorial authority that the request for assistance relates to
a fiscal offence in respect of which proceedings have not yet been instituted, the
authority may not arrange for the evidence to be so obtained unless—
(a) the request is from a country which is a member of the Commonwealth
or is made pursuant to a treaty to which the United Kingdom is a party,
(b) the authority is satisfied that if the conduct constituting the offence
were to occur in a part of the United Kingdom, it would constitute an
offence in that part.
15 Nominating a court etc. to receive evidence
(1) Where the evidence is in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, the Secretary
of State may by a notice nominate a court to receive any evidence to which the
request relates which appears to the court to be appropriate for the purpose of
giving effect to the request.
(2) But if it appears to the Secretary of State that the request relates to an offence
involving serious or complex fraud, he may refer the request (or any part of it)
to the Director of the Serious Fraud Office for the Director to obtain any
evidence to which the request or part relates which appears to him to be
appropriate for the purpose of giving effect to the request or part.
(3) Where the evidence is in Scotland, the Lord Advocate may by a notice
nominate a court to receive any evidence to which the request relates which
appears to the court to be appropriate for the purpose of giving effect to the
(4) But if it appears to the Lord Advocate that the request relates to an offence
involving serious or complex fraud, he may give a direction under section 27
of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 (c. 39) (directions
applying investigatory provisions).
(5) Schedule 1 is to have effect in relation to proceedings before a court nominated
under this section.