Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), (1991) 129 N.R. 81 (SCC)

JudgeDubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateSeptember 26, 1991
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1991), 129 N.R. 81 (SCC);129 NR 81;14 WCB (2d) 30;JE 91-1495;8 CR (4th) 1;6 CRR (2d) 193;67 CCC (3d) 1;45 FTR 160;[1991] SCJ No 63 (QL);1991 CanLII 78 (SCC);84 DLR (4th) 438;[1991] ACS no 63;[1991] 2 SCR 779

Kindler v. Can. (1991), 129 N.R. 81 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

....................

Joseph John Kindler (appellant) v. Mr. John Crosbie, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (respondents) and Amnesty International (intervenor)

(21321)

Indexed As: Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice)

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-

Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory

and McLachlin, JJ.

September 26, 1991.

Summary:

Kindler escaped from the United States to Canada after he was sentenced to death for murder. The U.S. government requested extradition under the Canada-U.S.A. Extra­dition Treaty. Following an extradition hearing, Kindler was committed to prison to await surrender to the U.S. under s. 18(1)(a) of the Extradition Act. The extradition judge ruled that he lacked jurisdiction to request assurances from the U.S. government under article 6 of the Treaty that the death penalty would not be imposed or executed. Kindler applied for habeas corpus with certiorari in aid to review the judge's decision. The Que­bec Superior Court dismissed the application.

The Minister of Justice invited written submissions respecting whether he should exercise his discretion to request the assur­ance contemplated under article 6. Kindler's three counsel were permitted to make oral representations to the Minister, but Kindler's request for a personal oral hearing was refused. The Minister decided not to seek the assurance before surrendering Kindler to the U.S. government. Kindler applied under s. 18 of the Federal Court Act to review the Minister's decision, submitting that (1) the failure to give Kindler an oral hearing breached the rules of natural justice; (2) the Minister failed to consider all relevant fac­tors; (3) the Minister considered irrelevant and improper matters; and (4) the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment contrary to s. 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Divi­sion, in a judgment reported 8 F.T.R. 222, dismissed the application. The court held that Kindler was treated fairly without a personal oral hearing, where his counsel made representations on his behalf and all relevant material was received and con­sidered by the Minister. The court found it unnecessary to decide whether the death penalty constituted cruel and unusual treat­ment or punishment under the Charter. Kindler appealed.

The Federal Court of Appeal, Hugessen, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported 91 N.R. 359, dismissed the appeal. The court unanimously "saw no merit" in Kindler's complaints respecting a lack of fairness or fundamental justice in the procedure employed. Marceau and Pratte, JJ.A., held that the death penalty per se was not cruel and unusual punishment under s. 12 of the Charter and, in the absence of such a find­ing, the Minister could not be compelled to seek and obtain an assurance that the death penalty would not be imposed or executed before surrendering Kindler to the U.S. Kindler appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada, Lamer, C.J.C., Sopinka and Cory, JJ., dissenting, dismissed the appeal. The court held that the Minister's decision under s. 25 of the Extra­dition Act to surrender Kindler to the U.S. without seeking an assurance that the death penalty would not be imposed or executed did not violate ss. 7 or 12 of the Charter. The court affirmed that Kindler had no right to a personal hearing before the Minister.

Administrative Law - Topic 266

Hearing and decision - Right to hearing - Persons not entitled to hearing - The Minister of Justice ordered a convicted murderer extradited to the U.S. to face the death penalty without seeking the assur­ance of the U.S. government that the death penalty would not be executed - The Minister heard oral representations from the murderer's three lawyers and con­sidered all submitted materials, but refused the murderer a personal oral hearing - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the murderer had no right to a personal oral hearing - The murderer was afforded that right at the judicial hearing stage - See paragraphs 76, 107 to 111.

Administrative Law - Topic 2266

Natural justice - Duty of fairness - Proce­dural fairness - What constitutes - [See Administrative Law - Topic 266 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 3824

Cruel and unusual treatment or punishment - What constitutes - Death penalty - The Minister of Justice, acting under s. 25 of the Extradition Act, decided to extradite a convicted murderer to the U.S. without seeking assurances that the death penalty would not be executed (Canada-U.S.A. Extradition Treaty, art. 6) - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that s. 12 of the Charter (cruel and unusual punishment) did not apply; the appropriate section was s. 7 - The issue was not whether the death penalty was contrary to s. 12, but whether the Minister's decision to extradite a con­victed murderer to his native country to face the death penalty there violated his Charter rights - Neither s. 25, nor orders authorized under it, imposed or authorized punishment subject to s. 12 scrutiny - The Charter's reach was limited to legislative and executive acts of Canadian govern­ments.

Civil Rights - Topic 8306

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Territorial limits - [See Civil Rights - Topic 3824 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 8546

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Life, liberty and security of the person - Section 25 of the Extradi­tion Act permitted the Minister of Justice to extradite a convicted murderer to a foreign state to face the death penalty without seeking assurances that the death penalty would not be imposed or executed - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the Minister's decision did not violate the convicted murderer's right to life, liberty and security of the person under s. 7 of the Charter - It would not shock the con­science of Canadians to surrender individ­uals convicted with the worst sort of crimes to the United States to face the death penalty and extradition did not go beyond what was necessary to serve the legitimate social purpose of preventing Canada from becoming an attractive haven for fugitives - There was no violation of the principles of fundamental justice.

Civil Rights - Topic 8547

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Principles of fundamen­tal justice - [See Civil Rights - Topic 8546 ].

Extradition - Topic 1025

Who may be extradited - Persons facing death penalty - [See Civil Rights - Topic 3824 and Civil Rights - Topic 8546 ].

Cases Noticed:

Schmidt v. Canada et al., [1987] 1 S.C.R. 500; 76 N.R. 12; 20 O.A.C. 161, consd. [paras. 6, 43, 83, 108].

R. v. Miller and Cockriell, [1977] 2 S.C.R. 680; 11 N.R. 386, refd to. [paras. 7, 145].

R. v. Smith (E.D.), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 1045; 75 N.R. 321, refd to. [paras. 7, 145].

R. v. Lyons, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 309; 80 N.R. 161; 82 N.S.R.(2d) 271; 207 A.P.R. 271, refd to. [paras. 7, 52].

Attorney General of Canada v. Cain, [1906] A.C. 542, refd to. [para. 11].

Kindler v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1987] 3 F.C. 34; 80 N.R. 388 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 11].

Shepherd v. Minister of Employment and Immigration (1989), 52 C.C.C.(3d) 386 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 11].

Blanusa v. Minister of Employment and Immigration (1989), 27 F.T.R. 107 (F.C.T.D.), refd to. [para. 11].

Soering, Re, [1989] E.C.H.R. No. 161, Series A, refd to. [para. 13].

United States of America v. Cotroni; United States of America v. El Zein, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1469; 96 N.R. 321; 23 Q.A.C. 182, consd. [paras. 15, 38].

Argentina (Republic) v. Mellino, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 536; 76 N.R. 51, refd to. [paras. 16, 46, 177].

Thomson Newspapers Ltd. v. Director of Investigation and Research, Combines Investigation Act et al., [1990] 1 S.C.R. 425; 106 N.R. 161; 39 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 17].

Furman v. Georgia (1972), 408 U.S. 238 (U.S.S.C.), refd to. [para. 18].

Richmond v. Lewis (1990), 921 F. 2d 933 (9th Cir.), refd to. [para. 19].

Glass v. Louisiana (1984), 471 U.S. 1080, refd to. [para. 20].

Reference Re Ng Extradition (1991), 129 N.R. 177 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 23].

United States of America v. Allard and Charette, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 564; 75 N.R. 260, refd to. [paras. 46, 84, 177].

R. v. Spencer, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 278; 62 N.R. 81, refd to. [para. 50].

Reference Re Section 94(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act (B.C.), [1985] 2 S.C.R. 486; 63 N.R. 266, refd to. [paras. 51, 84, 145].

R. v. Hebert, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 151; 110 N.R. 1; [1990] 5 W.W.R. 1; 57 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 51].

R. v. Beare; R. v. Higgins, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 387; 88 N.R. 205; 71 Sask.R. 1, refd to. [para. 52].

Milne v. Canada et al., [1987] 2 S.C.R. 512; 81 N.R. 36, refd to. [para. 52].

R. v. Jones, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 284; 69 N.R. 241; 73 A.R. 133, refd to. [para. 53].

Syndicat des employés de production du Québec et de l'Acadie v. Commission Canadienne des droits de la personne et al., [1989] 2 S.C.R. 879; 100 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 53].

Operation Dismantle et al. v. Canada et al., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 441; 59 N.R. 1; 13 C.R.R. 287, refd to. [para. 112].

Gregg v. Georgia (1976), 428 U.S. 153 (U.S.S.C.), refd to. [para. 135].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 200; 50 C.R.(3d) 1; 24 C.C.C.(3d) 321; 19 C.R.R. 308, refd to. [para. 154].

R. v. Morgentaler, Smoling and Scott, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30; 82 N.R. 1; 26 O.A.C. 1; 44 D.L.R.(4th) 385, refd to. [para. 155].

Andrews v. Law Society of British Col­umbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 143; 91 N.R. 255, refd to. [para. 156].

Singh v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 177; 58 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 175].

X. v. Federal Republic of Germany, [1974] No. 6315/73, refd to. [para. 179].

Altun v. Federal Republic of Germany, [1983] No. 10308/83, refd to. [para. 180].

Kirkwood v. United Kingdom, [1984] 10479/83, refd to. [para. 181].

Statutes Noticed:

American Convention on Human Rights (1978), O.A.S.T.S. No. 36, art. 4 [para. 133].

American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty, Protocol to (1990), generally [para. 140].

Canada-U.S.A. Extradition Treaty (1976), art. 6 [paras. 36, 95].

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 188]; sect. 7 [para. 35]; sect. 12 [paras. 35, 143].

Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1987), generally [para. 137].

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms con­cerning the Abolition of the Death Pen­alty, Protocol No. 6, Europ. T.S. No. 114, generally [paras. 9, 140].

European Convention of the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Free­doms, 213 U.N.T.S. 222, art. 3 [para. 179].

Extradition Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-23, sect. 25 [paras. 37, 98].

International Covenant on Civil and Politi­cal Rights, 999 U.N.T.S. 172, art. 6 [paras. 9, 132]; art. 7 [para. 9].

International Covenant on Civil and Politi­cal Rights, Optional Protocol to (1976), 999 U.N.T.S. 302, generally [para. 137].

International Covenant on Civil and Politi­cal Rights, Second Optional Protocol (1989), generally [para. 138].

Model Treaty on Extradition (1990), art. 4 [para. 10].

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc. A/810, generally [para. 131].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Amnesty International, When the State Kills ... The Death Penalty: A Human Rights Issue (1989), pp. 58-60 [para. 20].

Beccaria, Cesare, On Crimes and Punish­ments (1963), generally [para. 126]; p. 50 [para. 127].

Cockburn, J.S., Twelve Silly Men? The Trial Jury in Assizes, 1560-1670, in Twelve Good Men and True: The Crimi­nal Trial Jury in England, 1200-1800 (J.S. Cockburn and Thomas A. Green, eds.) (1988), pp. 171-172 [para. 117].

Foucault, Michel, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1979), generally [para. 120].

Granucci, Anthony F., Nor Cruel and Unusual Punishments Inflicted: The Original Meaning (1969), 57 Cal. L. Rev. 839, pp. 844-847 [para. 125].

Gray, Ian, and Moira Stanley, A Punish­ment in Search of a Crime: Americans Speak Out Against the Death Penalty (1989), p. 39 [para. 20].

Hay, Douglas, Property, Authority and the Criminal Law, in Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Cen­tury England (1975), p. 22 [para. 120].

Hay, Douglas, The Class Composition of the Palladium of Liberty: Trial Jurors in the Eighteenth Century, in Twelve Good Men and True: The Criminal Trial Jury in England, 1200-1800 (J.S. Cockburn and Thomas A. Green, eds.) (1988), p. 354 [para. 121].

Johnson, Robert, Condemned to Die: Life Under Sentence of Death (1981), pp. 86-87 [para. 164].

La Forest, G.V., Extradition to and from Canada (2nd Ed. 1977), c. 1 [para. 39].

McLane, Bernard William, Juror Attitudes toward Local Disorder: The Evidence of the 1328 Lincolnshire Trailbaston Pro­ceedings, in Twelve Good Men and True: The Criminal Trial Jury in Eng­land, 1200-1800 (J.S. Cockburn and Thomas A. Green, eds.) (1988), pp. 54-55 [para. 117].

United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on Prevention of Dis­crimination and Protection of Minorities, The Elaboration of a Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty (1987), p. 27 [para. 139].

Zaller, Robert, The Debate on Capital Punishment During the English Revolu­tion (1987), 31 Am. J. Legal His. 126, p. 141 [para. 124].

Counsel:

Julius H. Grey and Cheryl A. Buckley, for the appellant;

Douglas J.A. Rutherford, Q.C., and Graham Garton, Q.C., for the respondent;

David Matas and Emilio Binavince, for the intervenor.

Solicitors of Record:

Grey, Casgrain, Montreal, Quebec, for the appellant;

John C. Tait, Q.C., Deputy Attorney Gen­eral of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the respondent;

Cogan & Cogan, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervenor.

This appeal was heard on February 21, 1991, before Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On September 26, 1991, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

La Forest, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé and Gonthier, JJ., concurring) - see para­graphs 1 to 22;

McLachlin, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé and Gonthier, JJ., concurring) - see para­graphs 23 to 78;

Sopinka, J., dissenting (Lamer, C.J.C., concurring) - see paragraphs 79 to 89;

Cory, J., dissenting (Lamer, C.J.C., con­curring) - see paragraphs 90 to 200.

To continue reading

Request your trial
353 practice notes
  • Idziak v. Canada (Minister of Justice), (1992) 144 N.R. 327 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 19, 1992
    ...et al., [1991] 2 S.C.R. 114; 128 N.R. 1; 39 Q.A.C. 241; 61 C.C.C.(3d) 127, appld. [para. 48]. Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779; 129 N.R. 81, appld. [para. United States of America v. Cotroni; United States of America v. El Zein, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1469; 96 N.R. 321;......
  • Revell c. Canada (Citoyenneté et Immigration),
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Canada)
    • October 18, 2019
    ...v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5, [2015] 1 S.C.R. 331; Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779, (1991), 84 D.L.R. (4th) 438; R. v. Comeau, 2018 SCC 15, [2018] 1 S.C.R. 342; R. v. Lloyd, 2016 SCC 13, [2016] 1 S.C.R. 130; R. v. Smith (Edward Dewey), [1987] 1 S.C.R......
  • M.M. v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [2015] N.R. TBEd. DE.014
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • December 11, 2015
    ...46 , [2009] 3 S.C.R. 170 , at para. 51, per Charron J. for a majority of the Court, quoting Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice) , [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779, at p. 844, per McLachlin J. (as she then was). These principles "are foundational to the effective operation of the extradition pr......
  • France (Republic) v. Diab, 2014 ONCA 374
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • May 15, 2014
    ...v. Kwok, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 532; 267 N.R. 310; 145 O.A.C. 36; 2001 SCC 18, refd to. [para. 201]. Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779; 129 N.R. 81, refd to. [para. 202]. United States of America v. Burns and Rafay, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 283; 265 N.R. 212; 148 B.C.A.C. 1; 243 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
280 cases
  • Revell c. Canada (Citoyenneté et Immigration),
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Canada)
    • October 18, 2019
    ...v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5, [2015] 1 S.C.R. 331; Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779, (1991), 84 D.L.R. (4th) 438; R. v. Comeau, 2018 SCC 15, [2018] 1 S.C.R. 342; R. v. Lloyd, 2016 SCC 13, [2016] 1 S.C.R. 130; R. v. Smith (Edward Dewey), [1987] 1 S.C.R......
  • M.M. v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [2015] N.R. TBEd. DE.014
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • December 11, 2015
    ...46 , [2009] 3 S.C.R. 170 , at para. 51, per Charron J. for a majority of the Court, quoting Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice) , [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779, at p. 844, per McLachlin J. (as she then was). These principles "are foundational to the effective operation of the extradition pr......
  • France (Republic) v. Diab, 2014 ONCA 374
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • May 15, 2014
    ...v. Kwok, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 532; 267 N.R. 310; 145 O.A.C. 36; 2001 SCC 18, refd to. [para. 201]. Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779; 129 N.R. 81, refd to. [para. 202]. United States of America v. Burns and Rafay, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 283; 265 N.R. 212; 148 B.C.A.C. 1; 243 ......
  • Suresh v. Can. (M.C.I.), (2000) 252 N.R. 1 (FCA)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Federal Court of Appeal (Canada)
    • January 18, 2000
    ...456 ; 65 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97 ; 35 Admin. L.R. 1 ; 57 D.L.R.(4th) 458 , refd to. [para. 52]. Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779; 129 N.R. 81 , consd. [para. R. v. Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society (No. 2), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 606 ; 139 N.R. 241 ; 114 N.S.R.(2d) 91......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 firm's commentaries
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (June 10-14)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 4, 2019
    ...7 O.R. (3d) 277 (C.A.), India v. Badesha, 2017 SCC 44, United States v. Burns, 2001 SCC 7, Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779, United States v. Lane, 2017 ONCA 396, Canada (Minister of Justice) v. Everard (2005), 74 O.R. (3d) 363 (C.A.), United States of America v.......
72 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Fundamental Justice: Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Second Edition
    • June 22, 2019
    ...2014 FC 1001 ............................................................................ 45 Kindler v Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 SCR 779, 84 DLR (4th) 438, [1991] SCJ No 63 ..............................72, 101, 133, 134, 135 Klein v Law Society of Upper Canada (1985), 50 OR (2......
  • International Criminal Cooperation
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books International & Transnational Criminal Law. Third Edition
    • June 25, 2020
    ...to Modern France and the United States: A Brief History” (1981) 4 BC Int’l & Comp LJ 39. 13 Kindler v Canada (Minister of Justice) , [1991] 2 SCR 779 at 844 [ Kindler ]. INTER NATIONAL AND TR ANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW 534 convicted criminal though they might be. States traditionally guarded ......
  • International law and human rights: the power and the pity.
    • Canada
    • McGill Law Journal Vol. 55 No. 4, November 2010
    • November 1, 2010
    ...of Quebec, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217, 161 D.L.R. (4th) 385); extradition to the death penalty (Kindler v. Canada (Minister of Justice), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 779, 84 D.L.R. (4th) 438; Reference Re Ng Extradition, [1991[ 2 S.C.R. 858, 84 D.L.R. (4th) 498; United States v. Burns, 2001 SCC 7, [2001] 1 S.C......
  • The International Constitution
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Constitutional Labour Rights in Canada. Farm Workers and the Fraser Case
    • June 17, 2012
    ...3 SCR 697; R v Brydges , [1990] 1 SCR 190; McKinney v University of Guelph , [1990] 3 SCR 229; Kindler v Canada (Minister of Justice) , [1991] 2 SCR 779; R v Tran , [1994] 2 SCR 951; R v Prosper , [1994] 3 SCR 236; B(R) v Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto , [1995] 1 SCR 315; Ch......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT