About the International Assistance Group

Crime has become an international problem that requires international solutions. Persons involved in criminal activity at an international level use national boundaries to conceal themselves and the evidence of their crimes, making it difficult for law enforcement authorities to investigate these cases. As a result, effective tools of international cooperation have been developed in Canada and abroad to investigate, prosecute, and suppress cross-border criminal activity.

Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance are two important mechanisms through which Canada assists Canadian and foreign police and prosecutors to fight crime at an international level.

Extradition is the process by which an accused or convicted person located in one country is surrendered to another country for the purpose of prosecution or for the imposition or enforcement of a sentence.

Mutual Legal Assistance is the formal process by which countries share evidence and provide other types of assistance to one another to advance criminal investigations and prosecutions.

The International Assistance Group (IAG) at the Department of Justice, Canada, was established to carry out most of the responsibilities assigned to the Minister of Justice under the Extradition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act. The IAG reviews and coordinates all extradition and mutual legal assistance requests made either by or to Canada, and is known as the “Central Authority” for Canada in these areas of international cooperation.

On a day-to-day basis, the IAG works with foreign and Canadian authorities involved in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity and provides them with assistance and support, in accordance with the applicable statutes and international agreements.

Canadian prosecutors and law enforcement authorities, and foreign Central Authorities, are encouraged to contact the IAG to discuss the procedural and legal requirements for making successful requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance to and from Canada. Foreign law enforcement authorities should contact their own central authority. For example, U.S. law enforcement authorities may contact the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice by calling (202)514-0000 and asking for an attorney on the Canada team.

Contact us:

International Assistance Group
Department of Justice
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0H8

Tel: (613) 957-4832
Fax: (613) 957-8412
Email: Cdncentralauthority@justice.gc.ca

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