October 10, 2017
Vauclair, Marcotte, Hogue
Application for judicial review of a ministerial order to surrender (s. 57 of the Extradition Act (S.C. 1999, c. 18)). Allowed in part.
The applicant was convicted of violent sexual relations with a person under the age of 16 by the 5th circuit criminal court in Medellín. The appeal from this verdict was dismissed. The contested order is for the surrender of the applicant to Colombia to serve a prison sentence of a little more than 14 years. The applicant submits that this order of surrender is unjust, oppressive and contrary to section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (R.S.C. 1985, app. II, No. 44, Schedule B, Part I).
The existence of an extradition treaty means that the criminal justice system of the foreign partner is presumed to be fair and just. This presumption, to the extent that the Minister of Justice is involved, is rebuttable. In this case, the Minister of Justice erred in finding that it could not be set aside and that he had to start from the premise that the Colombian criminal justice system is fundamentally fair. This significant error led to his failure to exercise a part of the jurisdiction that was conferred on him. In the circumstances, it is appropriate to return the matter to the current Minister of Justice so that she may review the applicant’s submissions and the documents he has filed, determine whether the presumption that the Colombian criminal justice system is fundamentally fair should be set aside, and then assess the applicant’s grievances accordingly, in light of this finding.
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