Contents

Chapter 4
Roles and responsibilities

Summary of current roles and responsibilities

4.4The key actors under the Extradition Act 1999 have the following main roles and responsibilities. Italicised text indicates where we propose removing roles or altering the allocation of responsibilities, and the table below sets out the effect of our proposals.

ACTOR STANDARD PROCEDURE BACKED-WARRANT PROCEDURE GENERAL
MFAT
Receives requests in practice.
Assists Crown Law in liaising with the foreign country.
 
Provides advice on recommendations to designate countries under the Act.
Assists in the negotiation of extradition treaties.
POLICE
Execute arrest warrants.
Arrange detention and travel if extradition takes place.
Receive requests.
Liaise with the foreign country.
Initiate court proceedings.
Execute arrest warrant.
Manage District Court proceedings.
Arrange District Court representation.
May assist in providing advice to the Minister of Justice on the final decision on surrender (if this decision is necessary).
Arrange detention and travel if extradition takes place.
 
CROWN LAW  
Provides legal advice to the Minister of Justice on whether to initiate court proceedings.
Liaises with the foreign country.
Manages court proceedings.
May appear in court proceedings.
Provides legal opinion to the Minister of Justice on the surrender decision.
Provides legal advice to the Police (if necessary).
Manages higher court proceedings.
​May appear in higher court proceedings.  
May provide legal advice in relation to negotiating and meaning of extradition treaties.
MINISTER OF JUSTICE
Formally receives requests.
Decides whether to allow ad hoc extradition requests. Initiates court proceedings.
Makes the final decision on surrender in all cases.
Makes the final decision on surrender if the case is referred to the Minister by the court.
 
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Provides advice to the Minister of Justice in relation to extradition decisions.
Provides advice to the Minister of Justice on the final decision on surrender (if this decision is necessary).
Makes recommendations to Cabinet as to the designation of countries under the Act.
Takes the lead in negotiating extradition treaties.
DISTRICT COURT
Decides on eligibility for surrender.
Decides on eligibility for surrender.
​Decides whether the Minister of Justice should make the final decision on surrender.
 
HIGHER COURTS
Decide appeals and judicial reviews (where necessary).
Decide appeals and judicial reviews (where necessary).
 
CABINET
   
Designates countries under the Act.

Need for reform

4.5The way that roles and responsibilities are divided under the current extradition system is complex and compartmentalised. Some of this is inevitable. Extradition is a complicated process that involves diplomacy with foreign countries, their comprehension of our extradition process, the need to provide adequate protection to the person sought, judicial processes, and ministerial decision making.

4.6However, a number of different actors are involved in different parts of the process. This can lead to a lack of clarity regarding who is responsible for what and can make the extradition process more difficult for foreign countries. The current division of responsibilities can give rise to concerns about conflicts of interest and the suitability of certain actors being in certain roles. The Extradition Act itself is also unclear regarding who carries out some roles.

Key proposalsTop

4.7A central authority for extradition should be appointed. The authority should be given responsibility under the statute for receiving, managing, and executing extradition requests under the standard procedure.132 Identification of a central authority will not remove the need for a number of agencies to be involved in extradition. However, it will result in a more coherent and certain division of roles and responsibilities. It will also make it clearer which agency has overall responsibility for the process for countries with whom New Zealand does not have a close extradition relationship.

4.8The proposed new division of roles is illustrated in the table below. Our proposed changes are featured in bold text.

ACTOR STANDARD PROCEDURE BACKED-WARRANT PROCEDURE GENERAL
MFAT
Receives requests in practice.
Assists Crown Law in liaising with the foreign country.
 
Provides advice on recommendations to designate countries under the Act.
Assists in the negotiation of extradition treaties.
POLICE
(AS A DELEGATE OF THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY IN RELATION TO BACKED-WARRANT REQUESTS)
Execute arrest warrants.
Arrange detention and travel if extradition takes place.
Receive requests.
Vet requests in accordance with the Act.
Liaise with the foreign country.
Initiate court proceedings. Execute arrest warrant. Manage District Court proceedings.
Arrange District Court representation.
May assist in providing advice to the Minister of Justice on the final decision on surrender (if this decision is necessary).
Arrange detention and travel if extradition takes place.
 
CROWN LAW (THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY FOR EXTRADITION) 
Formally receives requests.
Vets requests in accordance with the Act and decides whether to initiate court proceedings.
Liaises with the foreign country.
Initiates court proceedings.
Manages court proceedings.
May appear in court proceedings.
Provides legal advice to and oversight of the Police (where necessary).
Manages higher court proceedings.
Appears in higher court proceedings.  
Provides advice on recommendations to designate countries under the Act.
Assists in the negotiation of extradition treaties.
MINISTER OF JUSTICE
Makes a final decision on surrender if a case is referred to the Minister by the Court (rare).  
Makes the final decision on surrender if a case is referred to the Minister by the Court (rare).
 
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Provides advice to the Minister of Justice if he or she needs to make a final decision on surrender.
Provides advice to the Minister of Justice if he or she needs to make a final decision on surrender.
Makes recommendations to Cabinet as to the designation of countries under the Act.
Takes the lead in negotiating extradition treaties.
DISTRICT COURT
Decides whether there is a sufficient case to extradite.
Decides whether the Minister of Justice needs to make the final decision on surrender (rare).
Decides whether to extradite Decides whether the Minister of Justice needs to make the final decision on surrender (rare).
 
HIGHER COURTS
Decide appeals and judicial reviews (where necessary).
Decide appeals and judicial reviews (where necessary).
 
CABINET
   
Designates countries under the Act.
132Countries using the backed-warrant procedure would continue to work with the New Zealand Police.