What is Extradition?
Extradition is the process whereby a country sends an individual who is suspected of committing a crime in a foreign jurisdiction to face criminal prosecution in that foreign jurisdiction.
Most countries have signed extradition treaties in which they agree to extradite individuals to certain countries so long as certain criteria are met. Countries that do not share an extradition treaty can also enter into a “specific agreement” for the purpose of extraditing someone in a particular case.
Canada will only extradite people where “double criminality” is established. This means that the act in question must be considered an offence in both Canada and the requesting country and the offence must be punishable by significant jail time in both Canada and the requesting country.
There are two main ways to challenge extradition – the Committal Order can be appealed and/or the Surrender Order can be judicially reviewed. A consolidated appeal/judicial review can be brought to the Court of Appeal.
An individual who is taken into custody during the extradition process has the right to a bail hearing, and he or she can appeal a decision denying him or her release on bail. Because criminal lawyers regularly conduct bail hearings, retaining an experienced criminal lawyer to represent you at your extradition bail hearing can be very beneficial.
Criminal Lawyers are your best Defence against Extradition
Extradition matters are sometimes handled by immigration lawyers; however, as extradition proceedings are more similar to criminal proceedings than immigration proceedings, criminal lawyers with strong litigation experience are in a much better position to successfully handle these matters. A criminal lawyer is in the best position to ensure that you are released on bail pending your extradition hearing and to argue any and all defences available to you. Furthermore, criminal lawyers’ knowledge of criminal law, evidentiary issues and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms prove invaluable in defending against extradition orders.
The lawyers at Hicks Adams can use their solid understanding of criminal law and vast experience with criminal trials and appeals to launch an effective defence against extradition and to appeal or request a judicial review of any unfavourable decisions made against you.