EXTRADITION, HISTORY AND PARTICULARITIES AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH COUNTRY
Extradition is an institution belonging to the branch of international public law applicable to criminal or penal law; through the application of extradition agreements, the judicial authorities of one country request the surrender of an accused or suspect to the authorities of another country, which in turn provides the necessary means to hand over the accused or suspect.
The countries that sign extradition treaties commit themselves by means of agreements to the reciprocal surrender of persons who are being prosecuted by the judicial authorities of one of the Parties for a crime or are being sought for the execution of a judicially imposed penalty or security measure that entails the deprivation of liberty.
Where does extradition originate?
The first concepts of extradition began to emerge in the 19th century in Great Britain and the USA. At the beginning, laws were made to prohibit extraditions, especially to prevent extraditions of persons who committed political offences. It was then that the doctrine tried to determine the difference between a political offence and a common crime, since extradition cannot be applied to political offences, it is only applied to common crimes.
What role do extradition treaties play over a country’s domestic rules?
Each country has particularities established in its rules on the rules for extradition, in addition to the internal and procedural rules of a country, treaties are added as substantive law rules, with which the requested state follows the request of the requesting state on the acceptance or refusal of extradition.
What types of offences are considered extraditable offences?
Extradition offences are considered extraditable offences of the ordinary criminal type, because of respect for liberties, offences that are considered political offences do not fall under extradition law.
In addition, the type of offence must constitute a crime in the requested country and in addition to this, the offence (according to the treaties signed by the country) must have a minimum penalty.
However, we can observe particularities, such as the extradition treaty signed between Spain and Venezuela, in which, in the case of tax offences, the requested country may not object to the non-existence of a certain tax in its country as grounds for refusing extradition.
“For extradition to proceed, in most cases, it is necessary for the offence to have been committed in the territory of the requesting State or, if committed outside that territory, for the requesting State to have jurisdiction to prosecute the offence.
For example, the aforementioned extradition treaty signed between Venezuela and Spain establishes which crimes will not be considered political crimes, including attempted assassination and terrorism.
Likewise, none of the provisions relating to political crimes can be interpreted as limiting the right to asylum and international protection.
Nor is extradition granted, or conditioned on the non-effectiveness of the measure, in cases where the offence is punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty in the requesting country.
What are the formalities required for extradition?
The extradition request must be formulated in writing and will be transmitted through diplomatic channels duly accompanied by a certified copy of the sentence that gives rise to the request.
WITH WHICH COUNTRIES DOES SPAIN HAVE EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS?
- The United States of America
- United Kingdom
- Cape Verde