Chapter 1

Origins of reference

1.2Both the Extradition Act 1999 and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 (MACMA) are essential parts of New Zealand’s response to the globalised world in which we live, and the reality that both criminals and their crimes cross our borders. The Extradition Act represents New Zealand’s commitment to the international community that New Zealand should not be a place to which those who commit crimes in other countries can flee with impunity. MACMA gives effect to New Zealand’s commitment to assist foreign criminal investigations and prosecutions.

1.3Both statutes are, however, in need of reform. Both are overly complex and in parts difficult to follow, create unnecessary difficulties, and in the case of the Extradition Act require conflicting procedures that can lead to unnecessary delay. A first principles review of the Extradition Act and of MACMA was referred to the Commission by the then Minister of Justice in 2013.