No matter the alleged criminal offence, international extradition often relies on a complex, lengthy process to reach a conclusion. From the initiation of an extradition request to the extradition hearing, an individual must often struggle to protect their rights. Fortunately, the process contains a built-in step allowing for a period in which the extradition order can be appealed in writing to the Minister of Justice.
While every situation is different, there are numerous grounds under which the Minister of Justice could consider denying the extradition order, including:
- The Minister considers the surrender unjust or oppressive based on all relevant factors.
- The extradition request was initially made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the individual based on their inclusion in an otherwise protected group such as race, religion, ethnic origin, language, colour, political opinion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability status.
- The extradition request is based on conduct that is punishable by death under the legal system of the extradition partner.
- The extradition request is based on a political offence or an offence of a political character.
- The subject of the extradition request was younger than 18 years of age at the time of the offence.
While not a complete list, this is an indication of the broad authority possessed by the Minster of Justice. An individual facing extradition for an international criminal offence must thoroughly prepare a strong argument against the extradition order. This is often accomplished with the aid and guidance of an experienced criminal defender. With a skilled defence lawyer, an accused individual can fight to protect their freedom and minimize their exposure to devastating criminal penalties.