Australia’s general approach to extradition
Australia needs to ensure that criminals cannot evade justice simply by crossing borders, and therefore has extradition relationships with other countries to ensure the effective administration of criminal justice.
The Extradition Act 1988 sets out a number of requirements that must be met before Australia can make or accept an extradition request. Those requirements may be supplemented by requirements contained in a multilateral or bilateral treaty.
Extradition process with New Zealand
Extradition between Australia and New Zealand is governed by a separate and distinct regime, known as the ‘backing of warrants’ system. This scheme is administered by police forces and prosecuting authorities in Australia and New Zealand.
On its website, the Australian Government Attorney-General’s department outlines the process of extradition requests between Australia and New Zealand, which varies depending on where the extradition request originates.
Incoming extradition requests: New Zealand to Australia
- Crime committed in New Zealand.
- Alleged offender located in Australia.
- AFP receives an arrest warrant from NZ through the NZ Police Liaison Officer with instructions to contact the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).
- CDPP seeks indorsement of warrant from magistrate.
- The AFP arrest the person and bring them before a magistrate. The person must be remanded in custody unless there are special circumstances justifying bail.
- CDPP consults surrender proceedings. The magistrate shall make an order surrendering the person unless the magistrate is satisfied by the person that, because:
- the offence is trivial
- the accusation of the offence was not made in good faith or in the interests of justice, or
- a lengthy period has elapsed since the offence was committed
- or for any other reason, it would be unjust, oppressive or too severe a punishment to surrender the person to NZ, in which case the magistrate shall order that the person be released.
7. AFP liaise with NZ Police Liaison Officer to assist with logistics of surrender.
8. NZ police escort person being extradited back to NZ.
9. The person is prosecuted in New Zealand courts.
Outgoing extradition requests: Australia to New Zealand
- Crime committed in Australia.
- Alleged offender located in New Zealand.
- The law enforcement agency liaises with the DPP in their own jurisdiction. The law enforcement agency applies to a magistrate for an arrest warrant.
- The Australian law enforcement agency forwards the warrant to NZ through the NZ Police Liaison Officer. The NZ Police Liaison Officer forwards the warrant to Interpol, Wellington, who then assign the matter to a Crown prosecutor.
- The law enforcement agency liaises with NZ Police Liaison Officer about the progress of the request.
- New Zealand agrees to surrender the person to Australia. AFP liaise with NZ Police Liaison Officer to assist with logistics of surrender.
- The Australian law enforcement agency liaises with the NZ Police Liaison Officer about the logistics of surrender.
- The Australian law enforcement agency escorts the person being extradited back to Australia.
- The person is prosecuted for the crime in Australia.