About the MLA Initiative
The MLA Initiative advocates for the adoption of a multilateral treaty that would provide inter-State cooperation mechanisms for the investigation and prosecution of the most serious international crimes.
The MLA Initiative emerged after the expert meeting organized by the Netherlands, Belgium and Slovenia in the Hague in November 2011 had confirmed a legal gap in the mutual legal assistance and extradition between States for the national adjudication of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The core group of States leading the MLA Initiative was later enlarged with Argentina, Senegal and Mongolia.
Given the nature of atrocity crimes, with suspects, victims, witnesses and evidence often crossing the States' borders, it is paramount to ensure effective international legal cooperation at the global level.
Some of the existing multilateral treaties contain modern provisions on mutual legal assistance and extradition, e.g. the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption. The MLA Initiative advocates for the adoption of a multilateral treaty that would provide similar inter-State cooperation mechanisms for investigating and prosecuting the most serious international crimes. The Initiative therefore addresses the primary responsibility of States to prosecute atrocity crimes and the need to improve the effectiveness of investigation and prosecution of these crimes at the national level.
The MLA Initiative operates as a stand-alone process, outside of the UN forum.
The MLA Initiative is open to all States. Since it has no relation to the work of the International Criminal Court, both States Parties to the Rome Statute and states not parties can join. Today, the MLA initiative is supported by 76 States* from regions all over the world.
More information about the aim of the MLA Initiative and the list of supporting countries can be found in the documents section below.
*Status on 19 March 2021