Chapter 8
Overview of court procedure


8.1In our Issues Paper, we proposed that a new Extradition Act should contain its own tailor-made procedural rules. We suggested that currently too much litigation relates to procedural issues rather than substantive matters. We said that many of the problems are caused by using procedural rules in the extradition context that were devised in other contexts.191
8.2The powers and jurisdiction of the District Court, which hears these cases at first instance, presently rely upon a mixture of statutory provisions, some of which have generally been abolished but retained only for extradition purposes.192 There is a great amount of cross-referencing and repetition. A cleaner, more accessible code is required.

8.3It is also important to focus on what the extradition task is. To be clear on what it is and what it is not, sets a proper basis for the court procedure. The purpose of an extradition hearing is not to decide ultimate guilt or innocence, but rather to decide whether or not a person sought to be extradited should be sent overseas to a foreign requesting country to answer, by way of trial or sentence, charges in that country. Approached in this way, procedures can be customised so that they are relevant to the task and not simply generic and ill-suited.

8.4We have approached our task by looking afresh at what procedure and jurisdiction is required. Having identified the fundamentals, we have consulted, in particular, the judiciary in order to audit what we believe is required, and to ensure that we have not overlooked incorporating important and relevant provisions.


191Law Commission Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (NZLC IP37, 2014) [Issues Paper] at ch 9, key proposal box.
192Extradition Act 1999, s 22(1)(b) and 22(4).