Meng Wanzhou extradition: Canadian Justice Department has until 1 March 2019 to issue an “Authority to Proceed”

13th Feb 2019

On 28 January 2019, we reported that Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou, had been subject to an extradition request from the US. You can find more about the background to the case here.

According to Section 14 Canadian Extradition Act 1999 (“EA 1999”), once the subject of the extradition request has been arrested the issuing state has 60 days (or the number of days stated in the extradition agreement between Canada and the issuing state) to make a formal request for extradition. If that deadline is not met, the arrested person will be released. In the case of Meng Wanzhou, article 11 of the U.S. Extradition Treaty with Canada sets a period of 45 days. The US authorities have already met this deadline and formally requested Ms Wanzhou’s extradition.

In Canadian extraditions, after the formal extradition request has been made, the Minister of Justice must be satisfied that the conditions in section 3 EA 1999 have been met. Those conditions are:
• the existence of an extradition agreement between Canada and the state issuing the extradition request; and
• the conduct that is the subject of the extradition request is a crime in both Canada and the issuing state.

If the Minister is satisfied that these conditions have been met then he/she may issue an “Authority to Proceed”, which gives the Attorney General the power to proceed with the extradition process. The decision to issue an “Authority to Proceed” is usually delegated to government lawyers working in the Ministry of Justice. In this case Canada’s Department of Justice has until 1 March 2019 to issue an “Authority to Proceed”, if this is made in time, the next stage of the extradition process is an extradition hearing which is due to begin on 6 March 2019.

Jasvinder Nakhwal
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7753

Nick Vamos
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7776