Singapore and France ink pact to strengthen cooperation in fighting crime

The pact is Singapore's first bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty since 2005. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore and France have secured cooperation in the prevention and suppression of crime, with both parties signing a mutual legal assistance treaty at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday (July 22).

The Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters provides a framework for both countries to make requests for legal assistance in criminal matters of each other, and is Singapore's first mutual legal assistance treaty since 2005.

It is also Singapore's first bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty with a country with a civil law system.

Civil legal systems are used commonly in European countries, while English-speaking countries, including the United States and Singapore, use the English-based common law system.

Before the virtual ceremony, Singapore's Minister for Law and Home Affairs, Mr K. Shanmugam, and France's Minister of Justice, Mr Éric Dupond-Moretti, exchanged views on several topics, including strengthening bilateral legal cooperation and the promotion of Singapore and Paris as investment, arbitration, and legal innovation hubs.

Mr Shanmugam said the treaty will be an invaluable instrument in the fight against transnational crime, noting that Singapore and France already cooperate closely on mutual legal assistance.

"Our law enforcement agencies have regular exchanges on issues relating to counter terrorism, cybercrime, homeland security among many others, and this agreement will further cement the already strong mutual legal assistance relationship between our countries," he said.

Mr Shanmugam and Mr Dupond-Moretti also reaffirmed the agreement's role in enhancing the strong relationship between Singapore and France, and said they looked forward to deeper legal cooperation between both countries, the Ministry of Law said in a press release.

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