6.1The way that different countries are categorised, and the consequences of this categorisation, is a significant aspect of the Extradition Act 1999. It identifies the pathway that a country’s extradition request to New Zealand will need to follow and is a necessary element of New Zealand’s extradition scheme. This chapter explores how the categories should be rationalised to improve the structure and operation of the Act.
6.2The chapter first looks at the categories and method of categorisation in the current Act. We then explain why we think categorisation will continue to be an important tool under the Extradition Act and present options and proposals relating to the number and nature of the categories, the categorisation process itself, and the criteria for categorisation.
6.3Reform of the number and nature of categories in the Act is desirable because of unsatisfactory complexity in the current system. We propose a simplified two-category structure:
6.4We consider that further distinctions add unnecessary complexity, both in terms of understanding and administration. We recognise, however, that there may be some concern over the breadth of Category 2, particularly given the variation in the constituent countries’ legal and justice systems. We have therefore suggested options for introducing further distinctions within the categories. We have also acknowledged that other safeguards in the new Act, on which requests could be turned away or refused, could be relied on to prevent extraditions on a case-by-case basis to countries over which there are real concerns.