Extradition and Trial Delays: Recent Developments (and Lessons?) from Canada

(2019) 2(3) Catolica Law Review 77

27 Pages Posted: 17 May 2019 Last revised: 29 Sep 2019

See all articles by Robert J. Currie

Robert J. Currie

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Laura Ellyson

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2019

Abstract

Extradition – the formal rendition of criminal fugitives between states – is well-known to be a time-consuming process that often has impacts, minor or major, on the ability of states to complete prosecution in a timely manner. Thus, the extradition process can sometimes be at odds with the right to trial within a reasonable time, which is part of the overall package of fair trial rights enshrined in international human rights law. In Canada, this right is implemented by paragraph 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In recent years Canadian courts have developed a series of principles to be applied to cases where extradition is involved in claims of trial delay. These range from the prosecution’s obligation to pursue timely trial in a diligent manner, to the extent to which extradition should simply be treated as procedurally neutral, to the attribution of delays when an accused has deliberately left the country to avoid prosecution. This body of case law is surveyed and analyzed in this article, as a means of providing an illustrative example of state practice regarding this right. The authors conclude that while Canadian law on this question is not entirely coherent internally, it generally complies with international standards.

Keywords: extradition, human rights, trial within a reasonable time, ICCPR, Canada, Charter

Suggested Citation

Currie, Robert J. and Ellyson, Laura, Extradition and Trial Delays: Recent Developments (and Lessons?) from Canada (January 1, 2019). (2019) 2(3) Catolica Law Review 77, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3374473

Robert J. Currie (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Laura Ellyson

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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