SHERLOC and Legislation on International Cooperation and Criminal Matters

The UNODC SHERLOC (Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws On Crime) knowledge management portal is an initiative to facilitate the dissemination of information regarding the implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its three Protocols, for which UNODC is the guardian.  The SHERLOC portal is currently host to five databases: the Case Law Database, the Database of Legislation, the Bibliographic Database, the Database on Strategies and the Treaties Database.


The Case Law Database is a comprehensive database allowing users to see how Member States  are tacking organized crime cases both operationally and in their courts.  It contains jurisprudence, as well as records of successful law enforcement operations, on corruption, counterfeiting, cybercrime, drug offences, money laundering, obstruction of justice, participation in an organized criminal group, piracy, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in firearms, trafficking in cultural property, wildlife and forest crime, trafficking in persons and fraudulent medicine/medicine crimes.


The Database of Legislation is an electronic repository of laws relevant to the provisions of UNTOC and the Protocols thereto.  It is searchable by country, UNTOC article, crime type and cross-cutting issue. While also enabling access to full legislation documents, the Database of Legislation provides extracts of laws relevant to specific UNTOC articles and crime types, allowing the user to quickly find provisions relating to their search query.


As of June 2018, the Databases include summaries and, when available, full court decisions of more than 2700 cases on transnational organized crime, as well as more than 7000 relevant legal provisions, from at least 192 countries.  These can be accessed through:


SHERLOC also contains a Bibliographic Database, which is an annotated bibliography providing a synopsis of key articles that are searchable by country, research method and keyword. The database currently contains more than 800 abstracts on fifteen different crime types.


As of March 2018 SHERLOC also contains a Database on Strategies, which is an electronic database containing strategic instruments on the regional and domestic implementation of the Organized Crime Convention and the Protocols thereto, such as plans of actions, strategies etc. and a Treaties Database, providing for the status of adherence to the Organized Crime Convention and other relevant international legal instruments.



The SHERLOC portal, by way of these databases, has become a practitioner’s tool for police investigators, prosecutors and judges; a monitoring tool for government policy-makers; an awareness-raising tool for the public and media; as well as an information tool for researchers, policy makers, legal drafters and all those responding to transnational organized crime.



As the only global public record of UNTOC-related case law and legislation, the Databases are a vital tool for stakeholders; however, there is a continued need for expansion and improvement of Database content. UNODC relies upon its networks and contributors to enrich the SHERLOC portal.  To this end, UNODC welcomes the involvement of new contributors towards:

  • Providing access to new cases and legislation which are not easily accessible online;
  • Identifying landmark organized crime cases from all over the world;
  • Preparing summaries of new cases in English and/or other United Nations languages (UNODC will provide a template); 
  • Submitting abstracts and bibliographic information on key articles relating to transnational organized crime;
  • Submitting relevant national and regional strategies adopted to counter issues related to the fifteen crime types;
  • Updating existing cases to reflect subsequent decisions by higher instances; and/or
  • Translating court decisions/case summaries into the official languages of the United Nations.


For more information on the UNODC SHERLOC Databases, please visit the “About Us” section of the Database at:


You are also invited to watch a video on how to use one Case Law Database in particular; the Human Trafficking Case Law Database: Apart from the general information on the Human Trafficking Case Law Database, the video explains how to use the advanced multi-faceted search function of the Database, through which cases of interest can be easily selected. Cases can be browsed by country, keywords or filtered by various criteria, such as verdict date, nationality or gender of victims/defendants, legal system or sector in which exploitation takes place.


For more information on UNODC’s work on transnational organized crime, please visit:


To obtain the UNODC Central National Authority Directory, providing contact details and functions of central authorities around the world, please request the access under

Please note that access is reserved for Permanent Missions to the United Nations and for the authorities listed in the directory.


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