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Court of Appeal extradition decision sparks widespread coverage

13 June 2019

There has been widespread coverage in international media of the Court of Appeal's decision to quash the Minister of Justice's decision to surrender a man to the People's Republic of China.

In Kim v Minister of Justice [2019] NZCA 209, the Court of Appeal stated that serious issues were raised as to whether a decision to surrender Mr Kim could be made in a manner which is compliant with New Zealand's international obligations.

"We have identified the difficulty that exists in obtaining assurances adequate to meet the risk of torture in a country where torture is illegal yet remains widespread because of cultural and systemic features of the PRC criminal justice system," the Court said in summarising its findings (at [274]).

"Other issues may be still more difficult to address: the existence of direct political influence in the criminal justice system and the evidence of harassment, and even persecution, of criminal defence lawyers. We do not exclude the possibility however that further inquiry may produce information on these matters of which we are unaware, and which show a different picture of the PRC criminal justice system."

The decision, on 11 June, has resulted in widespread reporting. "New Zealand Court, blocking extradition, is latest to rebuke China's judiciary", the New York Times says.

Other reports are carried by Reuters ("New Zealand court orders government to reconsider first China extradition decision"), Deutsche Welle ("New Zealand court rules against extradition to China"), Aljazeera ("New Zealand court orders government to reconsider China extradition"),The Times ("New Zealand court blocks extradition of murder suspect to China") and the South China Morning Post ("New Zealand blocks extradition of murder suspect Kyung Kim to China, claiming torture is 'systemic' and 'widespread'")/

The decision has also been covered by ABC News, the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN and the Hong Kong Free Press.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019