Extradition – What is it, definition and concept

Extradition is a judicial process by which a State delivers an individual to another State in order to judge criminal acts that took place in the country from which the individual has fled.

In other words, through extradition, one government hands over a person accused of breaking the law to another.

Extradition is a process that has to do with the judicial world. It is done through the order issued by a competent judge for it. The process begins when a person who must be prosecuted by the courts of a country flees from it so as not to be tried. ç

If the extradition order meets the established requirements, the country in which the fugitive takes refuge must hand him over to the country issuing the order.

Due to the complexity of the procedure, the States establish agreements and conventions among themselves in order to establish in which cases such extradition may or may not be carried out. This also helps to facilitate it if it is relevant.

Types of extradition

Two main types of extradition are recognized, active and passive:

  • Active extradition: It happens when one country asks another for the extradition of a person. The penal code of the requesting country will regulate in which cases this is pertinent.
  • passive extradition: It’s the other perspective. It occurs when a State is asked to extradite a person, that is, hand someone over to the requesting State. This application must meet numerous requirements and follow a thorough process. In order to determine whether to finally deliver the person to the other jurisdiction.
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As we can see, the difference between both cases of extradition is the perspective. When one is an applicant, we are before its active form. If, on the contrary, we are requested, extradition is passive.

But both types share the rigor imposed by the law through a series of requirements that any process must meet.

Extradition exceptions

Generally, although it depends on the specific country, there are two major exceptions to extradition:

Extradition of nationals

When a person commits a crime in another country, and at the time he is called to stand trial he is in his country of origin, his country of origin usually refuses extradition. This denial can have various reasons.

The first is usually the protection of the national itself, especially if the country that demands it has very dubious and even deficient legal conditions and guarantees. Second, the belief that the State itself can judge the person with full capacity.

But all this does not mean that the person is always judged. There are cases in which the crime, for various reasons, does not get to be judged by its own country. This happens in cases where the crime does not exist in said territory.

Asylum or political crimes:

It happens when a person is claimed for having committed a crime against the political order. This extradition is usually rejected for not posing any danger in the country in which he takes refuge.

Another reason to refuse is the non-existence of that crime in the host country. We see this in the dictatorship-democracy conflict, since most political crimes in dictatorships do not exist in democratic countries. The other reason that operates in these cases is the doubt about the process that will judge the defendant. The integrity of the judicial process or the type of imprisonment that the exile will suffer is directly questioned.

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There are also other cases in which there are directly countries that decide to take in the person who committed the crime. This happens, above all, in times of war.

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