4.41As noted above, while clarity would be added by the appointment of a central authority, other agencies must necessarily play a role in extradition proceedings.
4.42MFAT is the Government’s lead source of advice on foreign, diplomatic, and consular issues. It is the formal channel for communications to and from other countries, which, of course, may have different languages, cultures, and legal and political systems. At present, MFAT liaises with the requesting country for requests under the standard procedure, both before and after a formal request is submitted, and assists it in obtaining Crown Law’s advice on the form for the request and the form and content of the evidence that needs to be submitted. It is appropriate for MFAT to retain this role.
4.43For backed-warrant requests, the New Zealand Police liaise at a police-force-to-police-force level. This works efficiently and effectively because backed-warrant countries are those with which New Zealand shares a close working relationship. The Police role in the execution of arrest warrants, detention, monitoring while on bail, and the transit of a person to the requesting country is likewise essential.
4.44There are, however, issues for consideration in relation to some of the other current roles for government agencies in the extradition process. Below, we consider the existing roles of government agencies and how these should best be carried out in a new extradition scheme.
4.45It is necessary to have an agency that manages the court proceedings on behalf of the requesting country and the New Zealand Government.
4.46For requests under the standard procedure, Crown Law provides submissions for the court proceedings and either appears itself or instructs solicitors to act for the applicant. In the backed-warrant procedure, the Police instruct solicitors to act as counsel in the proceedings. Crown Law acts in all appeals in the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court, as it does for all criminal cases.
4.47As with vetting requests, we consider that the responsibility for managing court proceedings in standard proceedings lies naturally within the role of the central authority.
4.48Another significant agency function in extradition is providing advice to the Minister of Justice generally about extradition and the administration of the Act and about a specific exercise of a statutory decision-making power. Some of this is in the form of legal advice about the operation of extradition law and the administration of particular cases, while other advice is more of a policy, political, or diplomatic nature.
4.49The Ministry of Justice advises the Minister on the exercise of the Minister’s discretions to allow a case to proceed to the District Court for an arrest warrant and the final decision on surrender. This will usually involve the Ministry seeking further information from MFAT and the Police and a legal opinion from Crown Law.
4.50In our view, giving advice on both extradition policy generally and the specific exercise of a statutory power should be kept completely separate from the function of managing the court proceedings.
4.51We think that the provision of a legal opinion from Crown Law can be separated from the function of managing court proceedings (by Crown Law under our proposals) by ensuring that those providing the legal opinion on the discretion to surrender are different personnel from those involved in the case earlier.