Grounds for refusal
5.1The scope and application of the grounds for refusal in extradition and mutual assistance do not neatly align. Certain grounds are unique to each of the mutual assistance or extradition contexts, and even where the grounds are similar in substance, their application is different. This means that whereas extradition must be refused in almost all circumstances where the decision maker is satisfied that a ground is engaged, the new Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and for Recovery of Criminal Proceeds Bill (Mutual Assistance Bill) provides more latitude for the Central Authority to assess the likelihood that a ground will in fact be engaged. Additionally, in the context of mutual assistance, the Central Authority has room to balance the risk of a ground applying against New Zealand’s international obligations and whether or not providing assistance would otherwise be in the interests of justice.
5.2In this chapter we first explain how we have designed the ground for refusal process in relation to extradition, and then in relation to mutual assistance.