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Lesson Plan: For Teachers - Extradition: The Helmut Rauca Case

History, Social Studies, Political Science
1 lesson
To investigate Canada’s extradition process as it relates to war criminals
Students will investigate and analyze the extradition process in war crimes cases in Canada.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Write the term "extradition" on the board. Ask students if they are familiar with this international law term. Explain to students that extradition is the process by which a requesting nation seeks to have an alleged criminal returned to their country to face criminal prosecution. In Canada, if the crime or crimes that are the subject of the extradition order are crimes in both countries, and if there is sufficient evidence to commit the accused to trial in the requesting country, an extradition order may be granted.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Fleeing Justice: War Criminals in Canada. Have students view the clips "The Helmut Rauca case," "The Deschênes Commission" and "The Nazi hunter" and read the text for these clips. Have students complete the download sheet The Helmut Rauca Case to investigate and analyze the extradition process.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students discuss the following questions after they have shared their investigation chart research. Ask: What message does the extradition process send to alleged war criminals? Do you think the extradition process prevents Canada from being a safe haven for war criminals? Explain. What are the benefits and drawbacks to the extradition process?

Assessment Tip: Look for individual students to explain the significance of using the extradition process when dealing with alleged war criminals.


Canada has publicly condemned the death penalty worldwide. In a recent case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the minister of justice, except in exceptional cases, must seek assurances that the death penalty will not be used if a Canadian is charged in a country that does have the death penalty. Students can explain whether they think the minister should seek those assurances in all cases and share their views with their classmates.


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