United States of America v. Cotroni; United States of America v. El Zein, (1989) 96 N.R. 321 (SCC)

JudgeDickson, C.J.C., Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier and Cory, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateJune 08, 1989
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1989), 96 N.R. 321 (SCC);7 WCB (2d) 301;1989 CanLII 106 (SCC);[1989] ACS no 56;48 CCC (3d) 193;JE 89-920;[1989] SCJ No 56 (QL);42 CRR 101;[1989] 1 SCR 1469;96 NR 321;23 QAC 182

USA v. Cotroni (1989), 96 N.R. 321 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

United States of America v. Frank Santo Cotroni; United States of America v. Samir El Zein

(Nos. 20035; 20036)

Indexed As: United States of America v. Cotroni; United States of America v. El Zein

Supreme Court of Canada

Dickson, C.J.C., Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier and Cory, JJ.

June 8, 1989.

Summary:

The United States of America sought to extradite Cotroni on a charge of conspiracy

to possess and distribute heroin. The United States also separately sought to extradite El Zein on a charge of conspiracy to import and traffic heroin. (Controni's and El Zein's offences were unrelated). All of Cotroni's and El Zein's personal involvement in the offences took place in Canada and they were subject to prosecution in Canada. Nevertheless, Cotroni and El Zein were committed for surrender to the United States. Habeas corpus and certiorari applications were dismissed by the extradition judge and the Quebec Superior Court. Cotroni and El Zein appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, in a decision reported (1986), 2 Q.A.C. 280, allowed Cotroni's appeal. The court quashed the order of committal on the ground that the extradition infringed s. 6(1) of the Charter (the right to remain in Canada), and was not justified under s. 1 of the Charter.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, in a decision reported (1986), 29 C.C.C.(3d) 560, also allowed El Zein's appeal and quashed his committal. The United States of America appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada, Wilson and Sopinka, JJ., dissenting, allowed the United States' appeal, reversed the judgments of the Court of Appeal and restored the committal orders. The Supreme Court of Canada, per La Forest, J., (Dickson, C.J.C., L-Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier and Cory, JJ., concurring), held that extradition infringed s. 6(1) of the Charter, but was justified under s. 1, even where the acts constituting the crime took place in Canada and the accused could be prosecuted in Canada.

Wilson, J., would have dismissed the appeals. She agreed that extradition violated s. 6(1) of the Charter, but opined that the extradition could not be justified under s. 1 where the illegal conduct took place wholly in Canada and where the accused could have been prosecuted in Canada. Sopinka, J., agreed with Wilson, J., but expressed separate concerns about the implications of majority decision.

Civil Rights - Topic 525

Mobility rights - Right to remain in Canada - Extradition - The Supreme Court of Canada held that extradition prima facie infringes upon the right of Canadian citizens to remain in Canada (Charter, s. 6(1)) - The court, Sopinka and Wilson, JJ., dissenting, held that the infringement of s. 6(1) was justified under s. 1 of the Charter, even where all acts constituting the crime took place in Canada and the accused could have been prosecuted in Canada.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law (Charter, s. 1) - [See Civil Rights - Topic 525 above].

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law (Charter, s. 1) - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the approach to be taken in applying the tests set out in R. v. Oakes, 65 N.R. 87, for determining what Charter infringements are justified under s. 1 of the Charter - The court suggested that a flexible approach should be taken to the proportionality test in Oakes - See paragraphs 24 to 59.

Civil Rights - Topic 8461

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - General - The Supreme Court of Canada reiterated that the rights under the Charter must be interpreted generously so as to fulfill its purpose of securing for the individual the full benefit of the Charter's protection - See paragraph 16.

Extradition - Topic 2

General - Extradition legislation - Validity - [See Civil Rights - Topic 525 above].

Extradition - Topic 21

General - Bars to extradition - Ability to prosecute in Canada - [See Civil Rights - Topic 525 above].

Statutes - Topic 1644

Interpretation - Legislative history - Legislative debates - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the House of Commons committee debates are certainly of interest, but as the court observed in Reference Re Section 94(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act (B.C.), 63 N.R. 266, they can only be accorded minimal weight in interpreting the Charter - See paragraph 15.

Cases Noticed:

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, appld. [para. 6 et seq.].

Reference Re Section 94(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act (B.C.), [1985] 2 S.C.R. 486; 63 N.R. 266; [1986] 1 W.W.R. 481; 23 C.C.C.(3d) 289; 48 C.R.(3d) 289; 69 B.C.L.R. 145; 36 M.V.R. 240; 18 C.R.R. 30; 24 D.L.R.(4th) 536, refd to. [para. 15].

Southam Inc. v. Hunter, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 145; 55 N.R. 241; 55 A.R. 291; 9 C.R.R. 355; 14 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 41 C.R.(3d) 97; [1984] 6 W.W.R. 577; 33 Alta. L.R.(2d) 193; 27 B.L.R. 297; 84 D.T.C. 6467; 2 C.P.R.(3d) 1; 11 D.L.R.(4th) 641, refd to. [para. 16].

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; [1985] 3 W.W.R. 481; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161; 18 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 18 D.L.R.(4th) 321; 37 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97; 85 C.L.L.C. 14,023; 13 C.R.R. 64, refd to. [paras. 16, 41, 72].

Brickman v. Federal Republic of Germany, App. 1, No. 6242/73, C.D. 46, 202, 210, refd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Governor of Pentonville Prison; Ex parte Budlong, [1980] 1 All E.R. 701, refd to. [para. 19].

Federal Republic of Germany and Rauca, Re (1983), 4 C.C.C.(3d) 385, consd. [paras. 22, 24, 38, 40, 48, 80, 81, 82].

Schmidt v. Canada et al., [1987] 1 S.C.R. 500; 76 N.R. 12, consd. [paras. 22, 24, 39, 50, 58, 63, 81, 82, 108].

R. v. Whyte, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 3; 86 N.R. 328, refd to. [para. 26].

R. v. Libman, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 178; 62 N.R. 161, refd to. [paras. 28, 29, 30, 33].

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Doot, [1973] A.C. 807, refd to. [para. 29].

R. v. Jones, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 284; 69 N.R. 241, refd to. [paras. 36, 42, 43].

R. v. Videoflicks et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239; 55 C.R.(3d) 193; 35 D.L.R.(4th) 1; 30 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 28 C.R.R. 1, refd to. [paras. 37, 51, 95].

R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd. - see R. v. Videoflicks et al.

Burley, Re (1865), 60 B.F.S.P. 1241, refd to. [para. 40].

R. v. Schwartz, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 443; 88 N.R. 90, refd to. [para. 51].

United States of America v. Swystun (1987), 50 Man.R.(2d) 129, consd. [paras. 55, 56, 94, 103, 105].

Smythe v. The Queen, [1971] S.C.R. 680, refd to. [para. 55].

R. v. Lyons, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 309; 80 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 55].

R. v. Beare; R. v. Higgins, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 387; 88 N.R. 205, refd to. [para. 55].

R. v. Smith (E.D.), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 1045; 75 N.R. 321, consd. [paras. 63, 106].

Singh v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 177; 58 N.R. 1; 17 D.L.R.(4th) 422; 14 C.R.R. 13; 12 Admin. L. R. 137, refd to. [paras. 78, 94].

Operation Dismantle Inc. et al. v. Canada et al., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 441; 59 N.R. 1; 18 D.L.R.(4th) 481; 13 C.P.R. 287, refd to. [para. 87].

El Zein and The Queen, Re, [1986] R.J.Q. 1740; 29 C.C.C.(3d) 560, refd to. [paras. 91, 96].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Bill of Rights, R.S.C. 1970, App. III, sect. 2(a) [paras. 18, 74].

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 24 et seq.]; sect. 6(1) [para. 12 et seq.]; sect. 32(1) [para. 87]; sect. 7 [para. 94].

Constitution Act, 1982, sect. 52(1) [para. 87].

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (4th Protocol), art. 2, art. 3 [para. 18].

Council of Europe, Explanatory Reports in the Second to Fifth Protocols to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1971) [para. 18].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 423(1)(d) [paras. 68, 93].

European Convention of Human Rights (4th Protocol), art. 3, para. 1 [paras. 18, 74].

Extradition Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. E-21, generally [paras. 1-108]; sect. 3 [para. 59].

International Covenant on Political Rights [para. 18].

Narcotic Control Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. N-1, sect. 5 [paras. 68, 93].

Transfer of Offenders Act, S.C. 1977-78, c. 9 [para. 20].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Canadian Yearbook of International Law (1987), vol. 25, pp. 268, 269 [para. 52].

Castel, J.G. and Sharon A. Williams, The Extradition of Canadian Citizens and Sections 1 and 6(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in The Canadian Yearbook of International Law (1987), vol. 25, pp. 268, 269 [para. 52].

House of Commons Debates (Hansard), Jan. 1981, 41-118 [paras. 14, 40].

Van Dijk, P. and G.J.H. Van Hoof, Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights (1984), p. 368 [para. 19].

Counsel:

Michel Vien and James Brunton, for the appellant;

Francis Brabant and Simon Venne, for the respondent Frank Santo Cotroni;

Christian Desrosiers, for the respondent Samir El Zein.

Solicitors of Record:

Frank Iacobucci, Ottawa, Ontario, for the appellant;

Sidney H. Leithman and Francis Brabant, Montreal, Quebec, for the respondent Frank Santo Cotroni;

Desrosiers, Provost & Taillefer, Montreal, Quebec, for the respondent Samir El Zein.

This appeal was heard on February 22 and 23, 1989, before Dickson, C.J.C., Wilson, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier and Cory, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. The decision of the court was delivered on June 8, 1989, in both official languages, including the following opinions:

La Forest, J. (Dickson, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier and Cory, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 65;

Wilson, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 66 to 98;

Sopinka, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 99 to 108.

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