Labour will not negotiate on Dotcom’s extradition

Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little has stated that Labour Kim Dotcom’s extradition “will not be part of any negotiations on Labour’s part”.

Questions about the political  motives of Dotcom have and been and will keep being raised – see Internet Party faces questions on extradition.

I asked Andrew Little whether Labour would negotiate on the extradition and he has responded:

The Labour Party doesn’t have any position or policy on the extradition proceedings concerning Kim Dotcom.

It would be premature and constitutionally improper for any political party to express a view on how a ministerial discretion might be exercised in this regard before the courts have determined eligibility as to do so may give the appearance of trying to influence the court contrary to the principle of independence of the judiciary.

If the court decides Mr Dotcom is eligible for extradition then the incumbent Minister of Justice must exercise a statutory discretion under the Extradition Act 1999 and the exercise of that discretion must conform to the longstanding requirements for ministerial discretion which include that it must take into account relevant considerations and discount irrelevant considerations and otherwise be rational.

I do not think that the political requirements of assembling a new government constitute a relevant consideration in determining whether a person should be extradited.

Mr Dotcom’s extradition, regardless of the status of the court proceedings at the time, will not be part of any negotiations on Labour’s part.

That’s a clear no to the extradition being a part of negotiations.

Generally in politics stated positions are up for negotiation and compromise, it’s an essential part of working with other parties.

But when legal processes are involved the current laws and sound practices must be paramount.

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