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[Senate Treaty Document 109-22]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



109th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                                 SENATE                     
 2d Session                                                 109-22
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

 
            TREATY WITH MALAYSIA ON MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

  TREATY BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND MALAYSIA ON MUTUAL 
LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS, SIGNED ON JULY 28, 2006, AT KUALA 
                                 LUMPUR




 November 14, 2006.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                The White House, November 14, 2006.
To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Treaty between 
the United States of America and Malaysia on Mutual Legal 
Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed on July 28, 2006, at 
Kuala Lumpur. I transmit also, for the information of the 
Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to 
the Treaty.
    The Treaty is one of a series of modern mutual legal 
assistance treaties being negotiated by the United States in 
order to counter criminal activities more effectively. The 
Treaty should enhance our ability to investigate and prosecute 
a wide variety of crimes. The Treaty is self-executing.
    The Treaty provides for a broad range of cooperation in 
criminal matters. Under the Treaty, the Parties agree to assist 
each other by, among other things: providing evidence (such as 
testimony, documents, items, or things) obtained voluntarily 
or, where necessary, by compulsion; arranging for persons, 
including persons in custody, to travel to the other country to 
provide evidence; serving documents; executing searches and 
seizures; locating and identifying persons, items, or places; 
examining objects and sites; freezing and forfeiting assets or 
property; and identifying or tracing proceeds of crime.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Treaty, and give its advice and consent to 
ratification.

                                                    George W. Bush.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                    Washington, September 27, 2006.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty 
on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the 
United States and Malaysia signed on July 28, 2006. I recommend 
that the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and 
consent to ratification.
    The Treaty covers mutual legal assistance in criminal 
matters. In recent years, similar bilateral treaties have 
entered into force with a number of countries. This Treaty 
contains all of the essential provisions of such treaties 
sought by the United States. It will enhance our ability to 
investigate and prosecute a wide variety of offenses. The 
Treaty is self-executing and will not require implementing 
legislation.
    A detailed, article-by-article analysis is enclosed with 
this report. The Department of Justice joins the Department of 
State in favoring approval of this Treaty by the Senate at the 
earliest possible date.
    Respectfully submitted.
                                                  Condoleezza Rice.
    Enclosures: As stated.

              U.S.-Malaysia Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty


                                overview


    The Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters 
between the United States and Malaysia creates for the first 
time a treaty-based relationship of mutual legal assistance 
between the United States and Malaysia.
    The following is an article-by-article description of the 
provisions of the Treaty.
    Article 1 sets out the scope of assistance available under 
the Treaty. Article 1 (1) requires the Parties to provide each 
other the widest measure of mutual legal assistance in 
connection with investigations and proceedings pertaining to 
criminal matters. During the negotiations, both Parties 
expressed their understanding that this creates an 
international obligation on each Party to provide mutual legal 
assistance. The Parties further expressed their understanding 
that their international obligation would be carried out 
pursuant to the terms of the Treaty and in compliance with 
domestic laws.
    Assistance is to be available for ``investigations and 
proceedings pertaining to criminal matters.'' This terminology 
is meant to incorporate not only the full range of proceedings 
in a criminal case, including grand jury and other 
investigative and pre-charge proceedings, but also ancillary 
matters such as forfeiture proceedings that may be civil in 
nature but are nonetheless covered by the Treaty because they 
pertain to a criminal matter.
    Article 1 (2) contains a non-exhaustive list of the major 
types of assistance to be provided under the Treaty, including 
producing evidence (such as testimony, documents, or items or 
things) obtained voluntarily or, where necessary, by 
compulsion; arranging for persons, including persons in 
custody, to travel to the other country to provide evidence; 
serving documents; executing searches and seizures; locating 
and identifying persons, items, or places; examining objects 
and sites; freezing and forfeiting assets or property; and 
identifying or tracing proceeds of crime. Most of these types 
of assistance are described in detail in subsequent articles in 
the Treaty.
    The Treaty also authorizes provision of any other form of 
assistance not prohibited by the laws of the state receiving 
the request (referred to in the Treaty, as in other such 
treaties, as the ``requested state'' or ``requested Party,'' 
while the state making the request is the ``requesting state'' 
or ``requesting Party''). As long as there is no specific legal 
restriction barring the type of assistance requested, it may be 
provided pursuant to the Treaty.
    Article 1(3), a standard provision in U.S. mutual legal 
assistance treaties, provides that the Treaty is intended 
solely for government-to-government mutual legal assistance. 
The Treaty is not intended to provide to private persons a 
means of evidence gathering, nor is it intended to extend 
generally to civil matters. Private persons in the United 
States may continue to obtain evidence from Malaysia by letters 
rogatory, an avenue of international assistance that the Treaty 
leaves undisturbed. Similarly, the paragraph provides that the 
Treaty is not intended to create any right in a private person 
to suppress or exclude evidence provided pursuant to the 
Treaty, or to impede the execution of a request.
    Article 2 requires that each Party designate a ``Central 
Authority'' to make and receive Treaty requests. The Central 
Authority of the United States would make all requests to 
Malaysia on behalf of federal and state agencies and local law 
enforcement authorities in the United States. The Central 
Authority of Malaysia would make all requests emanating from 
officials in Malaysia.
    In each state, the Central Authority is to be the Attorney 
General or a person designated by the Attorney General. In the 
United States, the authority to handle the duties of the 
Central Authority under mutual legal assistance treaties has 
been delegated to the Office of International Affairs in the 
Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.
    The Central Authority of the requesting state exercises 
discretion as to the form and content of requests, as well as 
the number and priority of requests. The Central Authority of 
the requested state is responsible for receiving and evaluating 
each incoming request; transmitting it to the proper agency, 
court, or other authority for execution; and effecting a timely 
response.
    Article 2(1) provides that, in Malaysia, requests are to be 
transmitted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to or from 
the Central Authority. This pass-through is necessary because 
of a provision of Malaysian law that requires use of the 
diplomatic channel in Malaysia to transmit requests. There is 
no such requirement in United States law, and the Treaty 
specifically provides that requests need not pass through the 
diplomatic channel in the United States. This provision also 
does not affect transmission of evidence or other responses to 
requests or any other followup communications, all of which, 
pursuant to Article 2(5), are to be done directly between the 
Central Authorities.
    Article 3 sets forth the circumstances under which a 
requested state's Central Authority may deny assistance under 
the Treaty. Refusal under this Article is discretionary with 
the Central Authority of the requested state. Several of the 
grounds for refusal are common to most U.S. mutual legal 
assistance treaties. So, for example, a request may be denied 
if it relates to a political or a military offense, if it does 
not conform to the requirements of the Treaty, or if its 
execution would prejudice the sovereignty, security, public 
order, or other essential interest of the requested state.
    In addition, the Treaty provides that a request may be 
denied if it relates to an act or omission that, if it had 
occurred in the requested state, would not have constituted an 
offense under the laws of that state punishable by a 
deprivation of liberty for a period of one year or more, or by 
a more severe penalty (Article 3(1)(e)). The United States does 
not generally impose this requirement--known as ``dual 
criminality''--on mutual legal assistance requests, but under 
Malaysian law Malaysia is not permitted to provide assistance 
in support of the investigation or prosecution of an offense 
that is not recognized in Malaysia. To ensure that the Treaty 
would be available for assistance in the types of cases in 
which law enforcement authorities in the United States 
generally require assistance, the negotiators undertook a 
review of the respective criminal codes of the United States 
and Malaysia. That review revealed broad areas of commonality 
between the United States and Malaysia criminal codes, 
establishing that a dual criminality refusal ground would not 
unduly restrict the ability of U.S. authorities to obtain 
assistance.
    To further provide certainty to U.S. (and Malaysian) 
authorities seeking assistance, the Parties agreed to include 
in an annex to the Treaty anon-exclusive list of offenses for 
which they have already established that dual criminality exists. A 
similar approach was previously adopted in the Mutual Legal Assistance 
Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Korea. If a 
request relates to an offense that appears on this annexed list, 
pursuant to Article 3(2), the request may not be denied on the grounds 
of an absence of dual criminality. The list in the Annex is not all-
encompassing--indeed, it does not include most common crimes for which 
dual criminality is obvious--but rather is designed to cover some of 
the types of offenses regarding which mutual legal assistance requests 
are most commonly made. The Parties further agreed that the Annex could 
be modified by an exchange of notes, without requiring amendment of the 
Treaty. The Annex is an integral part of the Treaty.
    Other grounds for refusal included in Article 3( 1) reflect 
requirements in Malaysian law that a Central Authority maintain 
the discretion to consider certain factors in evaluating 
requests. Assistance may be refused if the request (a) was made 
for the purpose of investigating a person on account of that 
person's race, religion, sex, ethnic origin, nationality, or 
political opinions; (b) relates to an offense for which a 
person has already been convicted or acquitted by a court in 
the requested state; or (c) relates to an offense of 
insufficient gravity or an item of insufficient importance. The 
negotiators expressed their views that these grounds for 
refusal would be employed infrequently, if ever.
    In keeping with the overall intent of the Treaty to 
facilitate assistance, the Parties also included in Article 3 
several provisions designed to limit the use of grounds for 
refusal. Article 3(2), referred to above, restricts the use of 
the ground of absence of dual criminality. Article 3(3) 
provides that assistance shall not be refused solely on the 
ground of bank secrecy or that the offense involves fiscal 
matters. And Article 3(4) requires a Central Authority, before 
refusing assistance under Article 3(1), to consult with its 
counterpart in the requesting Party to consider whether 
assistance can be given subject to such conditions as the 
Central Authority of the requested Party deems necessary. If 
the requesting Party accepts assistance subject to these 
conditions, it is required to comply with them. Finally, if a 
Central Authority refuses assistance, it is required under 
Article 3(5) to inform the Central Authority of the requesting 
Party of the reasons for the refusal.
    Articles 4 and 5 prescribe the form and contents of 
requests under the Treaty, specifying in detail the information 
required in each request. If the information in the request is 
not sufficient to enable the request to be executed, the 
Central Authority of the requested state may ask for additional 
information. A request for assistance must be in writing, 
except that in urgent situations a request may be made in 
another form so long as the request is confirmed in writing as 
soon as possible thereafter. The requirement that requests be 
in writing can be satisfied with an electronic version, the 
authenticity of which can be verified. As both countries move 
towards use of electronic signatures, it is anticipated that 
this method might be used more frequently.
    Article 6 concerns the execution of requests. Article 6(1) 
includes three important concepts: the obligation to execute 
requests, and to do so promptly; a requirement that competent 
authorities do ``everything in their power'' to execute 
requests; and the granting of authority to courts in the 
requested state to issue subpoenas, search warrants, or other 
orders necessary to execute requests. Taken together, the 
latter two provisions specifically authorize United States 
courts to use all of their powers to issue whatever process is 
necessary to satisfy a request under the Treaty. They also 
reflect an understanding that the Parties intend to provide 
each other with every available form of assistance from 
judicial and executive branches of government in the execution 
of mutual legal assistance requests.
    Article 6(2) addresses the manner in which requests are to 
be executed. It creates a hierarchy for a requested state to 
follow in determining the appropriate procedures for executing 
a request. In the first instance, requests themselves may 
specify a particular procedure to be followed, and such 
specified procedures are to be followed unless prohibited by 
law in the requested state. This can be important to ensure 
that evidence collected in one state satisfies requirements for 
admissibility at trial in the other. If no particular procedure 
is specified in the request, the request is to be executed in 
accordance with any specific provisions of the Treaty. Finally, 
if neither the Treaty nor the request specifies procedures to 
be followed, the requested state is to execute the request in 
accordance with its domestic criminal procedure laws. The 
negotiators intended this provision, like similar provisions in 
other MLATs, to allow the requested state to use its 
established procedures for obtaining evidence where procedures 
are not otherwise specified, so long as those procedures do not 
undermine the obligation in the Treaty to provide assistance. 
See, e.g, In re Commissioner's Subpoenas, 325 F.3d 1287 (11th 
Cir. 2003).
    Article 6(3) states that the Central Authority of the 
requested state shall represent the requesting state or make 
other arrangements for representing the requesting state in the 
execution of a request for assistance. Thus, it is understood 
that if execution of the request entails action by a judicial 
authority or administrative agency, the Central Authority of 
the requested state shall arrange for the presentation of the 
request to that court or agency at no cost to the requesting 
state.
    Under Article 6(5), if the Central Authority of the 
requested state determines that execution of a request would 
interfere with an ongoing investigation or proceeding 
pertaining to a criminal matter in that state, it may postpone 
execution or make execution subject to conditions deemed 
necessary after consultations with the Central Authority of the 
requesting state. If the requesting Party accepts assistance 
subject to such conditions, it must comply with them.
    Article 6(6) is meant to address the possible circumstance 
in which the Central Authority of the requested state believes 
that the provision of assistance is likely to create a 
significant safety risk, for example, to a prospective witness 
or his or her family members. In such a circumstance, which the 
negotiators concluded would be unusual, the Parties would 
consult on reasonable measures to address the safety concern.
    Confidentiality and limitations on use of evidence obtained 
under the Treaty are addressed in Article 7. Although requests 
themselves are generally not confidential, the requesting Party 
may ask that the request, the supporting documents, action 
taken pursuant to the request, and even the fact that 
assistance is granted be kept confidential (Article 7(2)). The 
requested Party is to use its best efforts to comply with such 
a request, but if assistance cannot be granted without 
breaching the confidentiality requirements, the decision 
whether to proceed is left to the requesting Party.
    Article 7(1) requires that information or evidence provided 
under the Treaty not be used for investigations or proceedings 
other than those stated in the request without the consent of 
the requested Party. The requested Party may also request that 
the information or evidence produced under theTreaty be kept 
confidential or be used subject to certain conditions (Article 7(3)). 
The default rule, however, is that such information or evidence is not 
confidential, and Article 7(5) also provides that once such information 
or evidence has been disclosed in a public judicial or administrative 
proceeding, it may be used for any purpose. Moreover, the Treaty is 
explicit that it does not preclude the disclosure of information to the 
extent that there is an obligation to disclose it under the 
Constitution of the requesting state in a criminal prosecution. This 
contingency, found in Article 7(4), was included to ensure that the 
United States would be able to satisfy any obligations to disclose 
information under its Constitution, such as set forth in Brady v. 
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). Malaysia's delegation indicated that 
there is no corresponding obligation under its laws.
    As with other provisions of the Treaty, the confidentiality 
protections and use limitation provisions of Article 7 are for 
the benefit of the two governments that are Parties to the 
Treaty, and invocation and enforcement of these provisions is 
entirely a matter for the Parties.
    Article 8 is the first of a series of articles that spell 
out in detail the procedures to be employed in the case of 
specific types of requests for assistance outlined in Article 
1(2). Article 8 addresses the obtaining of evidence, whether it 
is a statement or testimony, documents, records, or particular 
items or things. A person from whom evidence is sought under 
the Treaty may appear voluntarily to provide such evidence, or, 
if necessary, the Treaty authorizes the Parties to compel 
production of evidence. This compulsion may be accomplished by 
subpoena or any other means available under the laws of the 
requested state. Article 8(2) specifically provides that use of 
compulsory process is authorized regardless of whether the 
proceeding for which the evidence is sought takes place in a 
court in the requesting state. This provision was necessary to 
ensure that Malaysia would be empowered to compel witness 
testimony when requested for use in U.S. grand jury 
proceedings.
    Article 8(3) requires the requested Party to permit persons 
specified in the request to be present during execution of the 
request and, where permitted by law, to question the person 
giving testimony or evidence. Even where direct questioning is 
not permitted, persons could be permitted under this provision 
to propose questions to be asked of a witness. Consistent with 
Article 1(3), this provision does not create a right for 
private persons to be present during the execution of the 
request.
    Article 8(4) contains the first of several provisions in 
the Treaty addressing the authentication of evidence produced 
pursuant to the Treaty. Similar provisions are found at Article 
9(3) and 14(3). In the case of requests by Malaysia, the 
request will specify any authentication requirements that might 
apply. In the case of requests by the United States, evidence 
produced under the Treaty is to be authenticated by use of one 
of the forms appended to the Treaty. The appended forms are an 
integral part of the Treaty. It is the intent of the Parties 
that evidence produced and authenticated according to the 
procedure set forth in the Treaty be admissible in evidence in 
the requesting state.
    In the event that a person from whom the request seeks 
testimony, documents, records, or items of evidence asserts a 
right to decline to provide such evidence (such as a privilege 
or immunity), Article 8(5) establishes two different methods to 
proceed depending on which state's law is invoked. If the claim 
is based on the requested state's law, it is to be resolved by 
the authorities of the requested state. If, however, the claim 
is based on the laws of the requesting state, the evidence may 
nonetheless be taken and the claim resolved by the authorities 
of the requesting state, although the requested state may 
request a statement from the requesting state of its views as 
to the validity of the claim. This formulation allows each 
Party to resolve privilege claims made under its own laws.
    Article 8(6) provides that the Parties may agree to the use 
of live video or television links or other appropriate 
communications facilities for the purpose of executing a 
request for the taking of testimony on a case-by-case basis. 
Such technologies are to be employed according to the laws and 
procedures of the requested state. The United States can use 
and has used video technology, for example, to provide 
testimony to other countries upon request pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 
Section 1782.
    Article 9 addresses provision of documents or other records 
in the possession of government agencies. The Parties are 
obligated to provide to each other copies of publicly available 
records upon request. With respect to documents that are not 
publicly available, whether to provide such documents is left 
to the discretion of the requested Party.
    Article 10 provides a mechanism for the requesting Party to 
ask for the voluntary attendance in its territory of a person 
located in the requested state as a witness or expert in 
proceedings or to assist in an investigation. The requesting 
Party must indicate the extent to which the person's expenses 
will be paid, as well as any arrangements for the person's 
safety and accommodation while in the requesting state.
    Article 11 provides a similar mechanism for persons in 
custody in the requested state. A need sometimes arises for the 
testimony in one country of a person who is incarcerated in 
another country. For example, a witness incarcerated in one 
country may have to give testimony in the presence of an 
incarcerated defendant in the other country. Attendance of the 
person is still voluntary, but is also subject to the 
discretion of the Parties and agreement of the Central 
Authorities. In addition, the Treaty imposes certain conditions 
on such transfers: the person must be held in custody by the 
requesting Party, unless otherwise authorized by the requested 
Party; the requesting Party must return the person in custody 
to the requested Party at the conclusion of the matter, or as 
soon as circumstances permit or as otherwise agreed; the return 
of the person shall not require any extradition or other 
proceedings, such as immigration proceedings; and the period 
that the person is in custody in the requesting state shall be 
counted towards the person's period of imprisonment or 
detention in the requested state.
    When persons agree to travel to a requesting state to give 
evidence, whether in custody or not, Article 12 authorizes the 
Central Authority of the requesting state, in its discretion, 
to give such persons a guarantee of ``safe conduct.'' This 
would ensure that a person attending in the requesting state 
would not be subject to service of process or any restriction 
on personal liberty by reason of any acts or convictions that 
preceded that person's departure from the requested state. It 
is understood that this provision would not prevent action 
against a person for perjury or any other crime committed while 
in the requesting state--rather, it applies only to past 
offenses. Under Article 12(2), any safe conduct so provided 
would cease seven days after the Central Authority of the 
requested state is notified that the person's presence is no 
longer required, or if the person has left the requesting state 
and voluntarily returns to it. Of course, as the Treaty sets 
forth, this article does not preclude a state from holding a 
person in custody as required by Article 11(2).
    While Article 11 addresses the transfer of persons in 
custody from one Party to the other, Article 13 addresses the 
situation in which one Party may need to bring persons in 
custody through the territory of the other on the way to or 
from third states in order to participate in an investigation 
or proceeding. Article 13(2) provides that the state through 
which the person transits has the authority and obligation to 
keep that person in custody during the transit unless otherwise 
agreed.
    Article 14 obligates the requested Party to execute a 
request for the search, seizure, and delivery of any documents, 
records, or items or things if the request includes the 
information justifying such action under the laws of the 
requested state. For requests from Malaysia to the United 
States, this means that a request would have to be supported by 
a showing of probable cause for the search. The evidentiary 
standard required under Malaysia law for requests by the United 
States is similar.
    Article 15 provides for determining the whereabouts in the 
requested state of persons (such as witnesses, potential 
defendants, or experts) or items or things when such 
information is requested. The Treaty requires only that the 
requested state use its ``best efforts'' to locate the persons 
or items or things sought. The extent of such efforts will 
vary, of course, depending on the quality and extent of the 
information provided by the requesting state concerning the 
suspected location and last known location. The obligation is 
limited to persons or items or things that are reasonably 
believed to be in the territory of the requested state. Thus, 
the United States would not be obliged to attempt to locate 
persons or items that may be in third countries.
    Article 16 relates to service of documents. It creates an 
obligation on the Parties to use their best efforts, upon 
request, to serve documents relating to a criminal 
investigation or proceeding such as summonses, complaints, 
subpoenas, or notices. When the document pertains to a response 
or appearance in the requesting state, it must be transmitted a 
reasonable time before the scheduled response or appearance. 
The Parties chose not to set a fixed period of time for this 
obligation, as circumstances may vary.
    Article 17 obligates the Parties, upon request and to the 
extent permitted by their domestic laws, to endeavor to locate, 
trace, restrain, freeze, seize, forfeit, or confiscate the 
proceeds and instrumentalities of crime or recover pecuniary 
penalties. The types of actions that could be undertaken in the 
United States under this Article include actions to seize and 
forfeit property under 18 U.S.C. Section 981, which can be and 
is employed to temporarily restrain or to seize assets or 
proceeds of offenses committed abroad. The language of this 
Article, however, does not require either state to take any 
action that would exceed its domestic legal authority. Thus it 
does not mandate, for example, institution of forfeiture 
proceedings against property located in the United States in 
the absence of statutory authority to institute such 
proceedings.
    Once property is confiscated, Article 17(2) permits the 
Party in control of the property to share it with the other 
Party or otherwise dispose of it in accordance with its own 
laws. United States law permits the government to transfer a 
share of certain forfeited property to other countries that 
participate directly or indirectly in the seizure or forfeiture 
of the property where, among other requirements, such transfer 
is authorized by an international agreement. This Article 
provides such authorization for asset sharing with Malaysia.
    Article 17(3) requires the rights of bona fide third 
parties to be respected in any action taken under this Article.
    Article 18 states that this Treaty shall not prevent the 
Parties from providing assistance to each other through the 
provisions of other treaties, arrangements, or practices that 
may be applicable, or through the provisions of their national 
laws. Thus, for example, the Treaty would leave the provisions 
of U.S. and Malaysian law on letters rogatory completely 
undisturbed, and would not alter any practices or arrangements 
concerning investigative assistance or prohibit the Parties 
from developing other such practices or arrangements.
    Article 19 addresses the costs associated with providing 
assistance. As is standard in U.S. mutual legal assistance 
treaties, Article 19 provides that the requested Party must pay 
all costs relating to the execution of a request, except for 
the following items to be paid by the requesting Party: fees of 
private counsel retained at the request of the requesting 
Party; fees and reasonable expenses of expert witnesses; costs 
of translation, interpretation and transcription; and 
allowances and expenses related to travel of persons pursuant 
to Articles 10 and 11. The article also providesthat the 
requesting Party shall pay the travel expenses of custodial or 
escorting officers, and the costs of utilizing live video links or 
other similar facilities, subject to agreement between the Parties. 
Finally, Article 19(3) provides that, in the event that fulfilling a 
request would require extraordinary and substantial resources, 
including expenses, consultation between Central Authorities shall 
occur in order to determine the terms and conditions for execution.
    Article 20 provides for consultations between the Central 
Authorities to promote the effective use of the Treaty. The 
Parties discussed the importance of regular consultations 
between Central Authorities. Such contacts generally result in 
development of practical measures to more effectively implement 
the Treaty.
    Article 21 is a dispute settlement clause. In keeping with 
the intent of the Treaty to make the Central Authorities the 
primary points of contact between the two governments in 
implementation of the Treaty, the Central Authorities are also 
expected to resolve any disputes that arise. The article 
provides, however, that if the Central Authorities are not able 
to reach accommodation after a reasonable period, disputes 
shall be resolved through the diplomatic channel. No external 
dispute resolution mechanism is contemplated or provided for.
    The final clauses are contained in Article 22. The Treaty 
will enter into force upon exchange of instruments of 
ratification. It is expressly retroactive--that is, once in 
force, it shall apply to all requests presented between the 
Parties regardless of when the acts or omissions constituting 
the offense occurred. Article 22 also provides procedures for 
termination of the Treaty, but specifies that termination shall 
not prevent completion of any requests made prior to 
termination.