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MJCK v. The Minister of Justice for Canada

This case concerns the proposed extradition of M.J.C.K. , the appellant, a Canadian citizen, to Thailand, a country with the death penalty. The Appellant was granted leave to appeal the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the BCCLA was granted leave to intervene in the matter.

At issue in the case was whether the fact that a requesting State cannot provide a death penalty assurance constitutes “exceptional circumstances” negating the Minister of Justice’s legal obligations of having to request such assurances from that State.

The SCC dismissed the case because the Thai government has provided the Minister with a death penalty assurance. The appeal was dismissed subject to the Minister’s undertaking not to act on his outstanding surrender order. Once the appellant has had an opportunity to make further submissions on the effectiveness of the death penalty assurance recently provided by Thailand, the Minister will decide whether to still surrender him to that country. If the Minister decides to go ahead with the surrender, his decision will again be subject to judicial review by the B.C. Court of Appeal. The BCCLA is currently maintaining a watching brief on the case.

The BCCLA are represented by David E. Crossin, Q.C. of Sugden, McFee & Roos LLP and Fritz Gaerdes of Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP. Nadia Effendi of Border Ladner Gervais LLP provided pro bono agency services.