10 Dec 2014

Extradition law unfit - Law Commision

11:14 am on 10 December 2014

A report on extradition has found New Zealand's current laws are unfit for purpose.

The Law Commission has reviewed both the Extradition Act and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, and found neither were suitable for a world where capital and people can move easily across international borders.

It said they failed to help with the detection of cross-border crime, which is a growing problem, or the prosecution of offenders.

Commissioner Professor Geoff McLay told Morning Report the law had procedural problems.

"It doesn't work as well as it ought to work. There's too much wrangling about procedure and we think that we need efficient law that gets to the heart of the matter much more quickly," he said.

Professor McLay said the role of government ministers and the relationship between extradition and treaties needed to be clarified.

"We think really New Zealand should proceed along that basis that the norm in the future will be extradition to countries whom we don't have treaties with. We think the role of ministers in particular ought to be clarified. We think that much more should be done by the courts as opposed to ministers having to make the final decision to whether someone will be extradited or not," he said.

The report has opened for submissions.

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