The Honourable David T. Lametti, PC MP
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
House of Commons
July 24, 2023
Dear Minister Lametti,
The Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) is one of the longest serving non-governmental organizations of professionals and lay-persons interested in criminal justice issues in Canada, having begun its work in 1919 and having testified before various Parliamentary committees on numerous occasions. Our Association consists of approximately 200 members from across the country and publishes the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the Justice Report. We also organize and present the Canadian Congress on Criminal Justice every two years.
The CCJA commends to the Minister the recommendations in the June 2023 Report of the Standing Committee on Justice And Human Rights, “Reforming Canada’s Extradition System.”
Compliance with Canada’s international obligations to its extradition partners must be balanced with protecting the rights of the persons sought. We believe that every decision in the extradition process must meet the constitutional obligations under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in all circumstances. This is particularly the case since extradition law in Canada must align with the provisions of international treaties to which we are bound and which are dictated by the tenets of reciprocity. The Report points out, however, that France (an extradition partner), maintains a policy position to never extradite one of its nationals to another state. This is in clear contravention of the principle of reciprocity. While the CCJA takes no position on the current situation of Professor Hassan Diab and his recent conviction in France, we do take issue with the objectionable nature and length of the process followed in his case. In addition, we are concerned with how Canada responds to any subsequent extradition request by France in light of its lack of reciprocity with Canadian extradition requests as noted above.
The CCJA also make particular note of the need for the Extradition Act to amend the listed grounds under section 44 (1) (b) to include and align with all grounds listed in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
It is clear from the testimony and materials relied upon by the Standing Committee in their report that reform of the law of extradition in Canada is not only a political and legal priority of your office but also a human rights duty.
We are always available to meet with you or your staff and assist in any way you may find helpful.
Executive Director/directeur général
PROVINCIAL ASSOCIATIONS / ASSOCIATIONS PROVINCIALES
Alberta Criminal Justice Association, British Columbia Criminal Justice Association, Manitoba Criminal Justice Association, New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Criminal Justice Association, Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Association, Criminal Justice Association of Ontario, Société de criminologie du Québec, Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety, University of Regina, Saskatchewan