15.1The Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 (MACMA) includes grounds on which the Attorney-General can decline a request for assistance from a foreign country. These are set out in section 27. They are divided into two types: “mandatory” grounds for refusal and “discretionary” grounds for refusal. The grounds for refusal act as a check to ensure that providing assistance is not objectionable or contrary to New Zealand’s legal system. They provide key protections for the individuals who may be affected by requests from foreign countries, including the protection of human rights and fundamental legal values.
15.3This chapter examines the grounds for refusing assistance in the current Act and considers whether reform is necessary, either by amendment of any existing ground, the deletion of existing grounds, or the addition of further grounds.
15.4We are not aware of particular problems that are being caused by the current grounds for refusal. We consider, however, that it is timely to review how well the grounds meet international best practice and compare with other jurisdictions.