Ottawa criminal lawyer Richard Auger is an experienced extradition lawyer who has assisted people facing extradition from various places in Canada.
What is Extradition?
Extradition is the surrender of one person into the jurisdiction of another country so that he or she can be tried for a crime allegedly committed in that country.
An Extradition Primer
If a foreign country seeks the extradition of someone in Canada, Canada will receive evidence from that foreign country (called the requesting state) to prove that the conduct of the person sought would have been a criminal offence if it had been committed in Canada. The requesting country would also have to prove that the offence would be punishable by two or more years of incarceration if it were committed in Canada (sometimes the potential incarceration must be 5 years). This is called the principal of “dual criminality”.
When this evidence is received by Canada, the Minister of Justice has the individual arrested. Depending on the circumstances, the person may be released on bail or held in custody while he or she waits for the extradition hearing. This is called a “provisional arrest warrant“.
After the arrest, there will be an extradition hearing before a Superior Court judge. An extradition hearing is not a criminal trial and the requesting state is not prequired to prove the person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before the extradition will be granted. Instead, the judge will
satisfy himself or herself that the person before him is in fact the person identified by the requesting state; and
satisfy himself or herself that “dual criminality” exists.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms do not apply fully to the person for whom extradition is being sought. Most significantly, the extensive disclosure rights (Stinchcombe rights) held by persons facing trial in Canada for criminal offences alleged to have been committed in Canada do not apply to an extradition hearing.
The extradition hearing has been characterized as an “expedited process”. The judge presiding over the hearing need only be satisfied that the evidence tendered by the requesting state is enough to establish on a prima facie basis that the extradition crime has been committed.
The judge at the extradition hearing must:
discharge the person, or
order his or her committal to the Minister of Justice.
Where the judge makes a committal order, the person committed can appeal.
It should be noted that the judge presiding over the hearing will look at each count or alleged offence individually. In one case, Richard Auger was able to block extradition on a very serious count of fraud.
Where an appeal of the committal order is unsuccessful or not pursued, the Minister of Justice will determine whether or not to make the “surrender order“. The decision of the Minister of Justice can be subject to judicial review (similar to an appeal).
If the Minister of Justice surrenders the person, and a judicial review is not pursued or is unsuccessful, the person is then surrendered to the requesting state.
If you or a loved one face extradition, you will need an experienced extradition lawyer to assist you. Contact Richard Auger at [email protected] for an initial consulation in relation to your case.
Read about Richard Auger’s successful extradition cases below.