Extradition is a process through which an individual suspected of committing a crime in another country is returned to that country to face criminal prosecution. Extradition Hearings in Canada are predominately governed by the extradition agreements it has with other countries. Where an extradition agreement does not exist between two countries, they can choose to enter into a “specific agreement” to extradite a particular person.
Canada has signed extradition agreements with about 50 countries; however, the vast majority of extradition requests come from the United States.
How does the Extradition Process Work In Canada?
There are 4 main steps to the extradition process:
- Extradition Request: The country who wishes to have someone extradited sends an extradition request to the Minister of Justice.
- Authority to Proceed: If the Minister determines that certain criteria have been met, an Authority to Proceed is issued.
- Committal Order: An extradition hearing is held. The purpose of this hearing is not to determine whether the person is innocent or guilty. Rather, the court determines whether there is enough evidence to order the person’s committal for extradition. If so, a Committal Order is issued.
- Surrender Order: If the person is committed for extradition, the Minister of Justice will determine whether to order the person’s surrender to the requesting state.
DUVADIE LAW Defends Clients against Extradition
DUVADIE Law’s extensive experience with criminal litigation, evidentiary matters, bail hearings and appellate work places the firm in a position to effectively defend you against extradition.
At the extradition hearing, we can mount a vigorous defence against having a Committal Order issued. For example, we can challenge the validity and sufficiency of the evidence presented by the country requesting extradition and/or argue that the crime does not fulfill the “double criminality” requirement. In order to fulfill this requirement, the act in question must be a crime that is punishable by significant jail time in both Canada and the country requesting extradition.
If someone is taken into custody during the extradition process, we can fight to have them released on bail and appeal any refusals of bail. For more information, see our page on Bail Hearings.
DUVADIE LAW Assists with Appeals and Judicial Reviews of Extradition Matters
It is important to realize that the court’s decision to issue a Committal Order or the Minister’s decision to issue a Surrender Order are not final. They can be challenged. DUVADIE Law has experience bringing immigration appeals and judicial reviews of extradition matters before the higher courts.
If someone is committed for extradition, our first step would be to draft persuasive submissions to the Minister, arguing that the Minister should exercise his or her discretion not to issue a Committal Order.
If the Minister were to issue a Surrender Order, we would then launch a combined appeal of the Committal Order and judicial review of the Surrender Order and argue that they should be overturned.
If you are facing an Extradition Hearing, please call DUVADIE Law at (613) 422-1155 or Toll-Free 1 (855) 422-1155 to set up your free 30-minute consultation.
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