Criminal Extradition – What, How, and Who

Criminal Lawyer in PerthThere are instances when perpetrators of crimes believe that they can get away with their offenses if they flee to other countries. However, you should know that if these individuals were to go to a country that has an existing extradition treaty with the country of origin, it will never take long before that individual will face the full force of the law.

Understanding Extradition

The whole process of extradition is quite simple, but you will definitely need legal advice in Perth. It is more like asking another country to arrest and surrender a fugitive in your own country. For example, timpanolegal.com.au cites, if you are a citizen of Country X and you fled to Country Y because you are charged for a crime in Country X, then Country X can request Country Y to arrest you and start the whole process of bringing you back to Country X. The whole process is what is known as extradition and is largely governed by treaties and laws between governments of countries.

Are Countries Obliged to Extradite Criminals?

Extradition works on the principle of reciprocity. This means that two countries can freely ‘extradite’ persons between each other upon the formal request of one another. Of course, these are all subject to existing laws of the country being requested. It goes to show that criminals who flee to countries that do not have any form of extradition treaties with other countries are not obliged to grant the request for extradition. A classic example is Edward Snowden as well as Julian Assange.

While Ecuador has signed a bilateral extradition treaty with the UK, it refuses to surrender Assange based on what they believe are violations of Human Rights. Russia, on the other hand, does not have a bilateral extradition treaty with the US.

So, Who Can be Extradited Then?

Unfortunately, extradition treaties are mere documents because countries will still have their own laws to adhere to. As a general rule however, a fugitive that has been charged with a crime or has been convicted of one can be extradited. Being a suspect does not meet this fundamental requirement.

Criminal extradition only works among countries that have existing treaties to that effect. However, it is important to understand that crimes against political charters are not generally considered as a basis for extradition.