The jurisdiction of the court
The current law
9.3In standard extradition proceedings, the District Court has the same powers and jurisdiction, and must conduct the proceedings in the same manner, as if it was a domestic “committal hearing” for “an indictable offence” allegedly committed in New Zealand. To that end, Parts 5 and 5A of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 apply.
9.4Committal hearings and indictable offences were, however, abolished in New Zealand by the Criminal Procedure Act 2011. As part of that process, Parts 5 and 5A of the Summary Proceedings Act were repealed. The Extradition Act was amended to state that, for the purposes of the standard procedure, the Summary Proceedings Act must be read as if the Summary Proceedings Act was still in effect.
9.5The approach to the backed-warrant procedure is more straightforward because it is aligned to the Criminal Procedure Act. The Criminal Procedure Act includes a form of summary proceeding for what it terms category 2 offences, which is applied to the backed-warrant process.
9.6The Summary Proceedings Act’s provisions were assessed as “out of date and excessively inflexible”. New Zealand’s domestic criminal procedure is now governed by the Criminal Procedure Act 2011. It is difficult to incorporate provisions from the repealed Summary Proceedings Act.
Options for reformTop
9.7Future extradition legislation could either:
- cross-reference powers and jurisdiction that currently exist under the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 and other legislation; or
- create new powers and jurisdiction that are specific to the extradition context. This could adopt aspects of the old committal procedure but use more modern language.
9.8We think that the appropriate procedural rules for extradition differ so significantly from those in the Criminal Procedure Act that a purpose-built set of procedures is needed for both standard procedure and backed-warrant extraditions.