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Minister of Justice v. Burns

1 S.C.R. 283, 2001 SCC 7 (2001)

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Minister of Justice v. Burns

Canada Supreme Court

1 S.C.R. 283, 2001 SCC 7 (2001)

Facts

Atif Rafay and Glen Burns (defendants) were suspected of murdering Rafay’s family at their home in Bellevue, Washington. Rafay and Burns fled to Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) conducted an undercover operation that resulted in an admission by Rafay and Burns that Burns had committed the murders at the behest and in the presence of Rafay. The RCMP arrested Rafay and Burns. The minister of justice signed an extradition order for the two men to be extradited to Washington State for trial pursuant to the United States and Canada’s extradition treaty. The treaty provided that Canada could refuse extradition if it was not given assurances that extradited fugitives would not suffer the death penalty. The minister of justice did not seek such assurances in this case. Rafay and Burns argued that the minister was required to seek assurances that the death penalty would not be imposed. The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that the minister must seek assurances against the death penalty. The Canada Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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