11.2It is not uncommon for a person to claim refugee or protected person status under the Immigration Act, and to be the subject of an extradition request. In those circumstances, the overlap between the refugee proceeding and any extradition proceeding would be extensive. Both would involve consideration of alleged criminal offending and the likelihood of serious human rights violations if the person was forcibly returned to a foreign country. The same information/evidence would be relevant to both proceedings. Furthermore, the Refugee Convention, the Convention against Torture and the ICCPR would be directly relevant to both of the final decisions.
11.3The difficulty is that, at present, there is no statutory guidance as to how extradition and refugee proceedings relate to each other. As a result, there is currently potential for the extradition and immigration authorities in New Zealand to make irreconcilable final decisions in relation to the same person.
11.4In this chapter we examine the problem of overlap. We outline the extent of the overlap between extradition and refugee proceedings, and explain our policy for how this overlap should be managed in the future. We include recommendations for clauses that should be in the Extradition Bill and amendments that should be made to the Immigration Act. We have not taken the extra step of including the necessary clauses in our proposed Extradition Bill. That is because the details of those clauses will need to be drafted in conjunction with the amendments to the Immigration Act and with extensive technical assistance from immigration specialists.