Tuesday, December 02, 2014

New Zealand Law Commission Issues Paper on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

The Law Commission of New Zealand has published an Issues Paper on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

From the press releases:
"The Paper presents issues with the current law and contains draft proposals which could create significant reform. The Commission’s proposals are intended to promote discussion and generate submissions prior to the preparation of the final report to be submitted to Parliament (...)"

"The Extradition Act 1999 governs the circumstances under which another country may request suspects for trial in their country, while the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 (MACMA) provides the mechanism for another country to request assistance in investigating and prosecuting criminal offences. The Law Commission has arrived at a preliminary conclusion that both the Extradition Act and MACMA are not fit for purpose in the modern, globalised world. Since both Acts were enacted , the landscape for transnational crime has changed significantly . Considerable advancements in technologies and communications, the rapid expansion of global markets, and ever-increasing international travel has escalated the opportunity for both suspects and the evidence and proceeds of crime to be located in different countries (...)"

"One of the key proposals to reforming extradition law would provide for a simpler two - category approach to categorising countries based on their relationship to New Zealand. The categorisation would influence how an extradition request is advanced. Category 1 would comprise a small group of New Zealand’s closest extradition partners, and Category 2 would include all other countries (...)"

"Currently, MACMA is too detailed and specific and instead needs to be more principles - based. The general rule should be that any domestic tool that can be used to investigate and prosecute crime, and to restrain and seek forfeiture of property derived from crime, is available for foreign criminal matters in the appropriate circumstances. One of the Commission’s key proposals is that the gateway function should be widened, particularly in the area of search and surveillance so that foreign countries will have the ability to ask the New Zealand Police to conduct searches and surveillance under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 which are needed to assist the foreign countries in their own investigations ."
 The report also examines the practices concerning this question in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:30 pm

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