What is wrong with the current law

1This Report outlines our recommended approach to extradition and mutual assistance3 as set out in our Issues Paper. The case for reform remains as we expressed it in the Issues Paper:4

The Extradition Act and [the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act] are complex and convoluted statutes that are difficult to follow. Both statutes fail to come to grips with the realities of New Zealand’s place within a globalised environment. They fail to provide a framework through which to balance both New Zealand’s role within the international community and the values that will always remain important to New Zealanders in protecting the rights of those accused of crimes overseas or protecting those here from unwarranted investigation from abroad.

3Unless the context otherwise requires, we use the term “mutual assistance” to refer to the process by which New Zealand provides or requests assistance to or from another state in the investigation or prosecution of crime under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 or our Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and for Recovery of Criminal Proceeds Bill [Mutual Assistance Bill]. This is often also referred to as “mutual criminal assistance” or “mutual legal assistance”: see William Gilmore (ed) Mutual Assistance in Criminal and Business Regulatory Matters (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995) at xii. We acknowledge in other contexts that the broader term “mutual assistance” may refer to assistance provided by one state to another generally.
4Law Commission Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (NZLC IP37, 2014) [Issues Paper] at [1.7].