Trickle-down assurances: Could the central authority, treaty, or judiciary alleviate extradition issues amongst non-traditional treaty partners?
As New Zealand is facing its first extradition matter with China, it is becoming an increasingly cumbersome matter for the Crown. The current set of diplomatic assurances offered by the Crown in Kim lacks efficient post-sentencing monitoring mechanisms. It also lacks accountability for the Crown if a requested-person’s assurance rights have been breached. This thesis suggests that new post-sentencing monitoring mechanisms should be introduced, such as the induction of the Ombudsman to perform their duties in off-shore prison facilities. This thesis is of the view that, contrary to the general opinions of NGOs, an extradition treaty with China is necessary (and perhaps long overdue). Not only for New Zealand’s commitment against transnational crimes, but also to protect stringent monitoring mechanisms for pre-and post-sentencing while addressing any future breaches by the Requesting-State under the Vienna Convention on the Laws of Treaties, especially when there is an option of adjudication under the International Court of Justice. This thesis concludes the Courts should also be more involved in the extradition process. While balancing the need for comity and mutual respect, but allowing the Courts to be able to assess assurance-related evidence if absolutely necessary.