United States of America v. Cotroni

United States Of America V. Cotroni

United States of America v. Cotroni

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United States of America v. Cotroni; United States of America v. El Zein 1 S.C.R. 1469 was a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on extradition and freedom of movement under section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court found extradition violates section 6 but is a justified infringement under section 1 of the Charter.


The case involved Frank Santo Cotroni, a Canadian citizen who was accused of planning to sell heroin in the United States. He was arrested in Canada and plans were made to extradite him. Cotroni resisted the extradition on the grounds that it was in violation of section 6(1) of the Charter, which grants Canadian citizens the right to stay in Canada. He won his case in the Quebec Court of Appeal, who argued that it was possible to try Cotroni in Canada, where the crime was centred.

The second respondent in the case was Samir El Zein, also a Canadian citizen, who gave heroin to two people in Canada who were then caught trying to cross the border with it. El Zein was arrested and the US requested he be extradited. El Zein also won his case in the Court of Appeal.


When the case reached the Supreme Court, the appellants argued that section 6(1) should be interpreted in the way it was meant, namely to guard against arbitrary exile and not extradition, which may not be a permanent removal and does not terminate Canadian citizenship. Hansard from 1981, just before the implentation of the Charter, was cited to...
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