The paper "Meaning and Definition of the Term Extradition" is a good example of business coursework. Ordinarily, each state exercises complete jurisdiction over all the persons within its territory. But sometimes there may be cases when a person after committing crime runs away to another country. In such a situation, the country affected finds itself helpless to exercise jurisdiction to punish the guilty person. This situation is undoubtedly very detrimental to peace and order. In such a situation peace and order can be maintained only when there is international co-operation among the states.
There is a social need to punish such criminals and in order to fulfill this social necessity, the principle of extradition has been recognized. “ The inability of a state to exercise its jurisdiction within the territory of another State would seriously undermine the maintenance of law and order if there were no co-operation in the administration of justice. The awareness among national decision-makers of the social necessity of jurisdictional co-operation is illustrated by the widespread practice of returning a person who is accused or who has been convicted of a crime to the state in which the crime was committed. ” (Collins)(1) Meaning and Definition of the term extradition “ Extradition is the delivery of an accused or a convicted individual to the State on whose territory he is alleged to have committed or to have been convicted of a crime, by the state on whose territory the alleged criminal happens to be for the time being. ” (Oppenheim)(2) “ The term ‘ extradition’ denotes the process whereby under the treaty or upon a basis of reciprocity one state surrenders to another state at its request a person accused or convicted of a criminal offence committed against the laws of the Edward Collins International Law in a Changing World(1969), p.216 2.
L. Oppenheim, International Law, Vol. 1, Eighth Edition, p.696 requesting state, such requesting state is competent to try the alleged offender. ” (Starke)(3) In the view of the eminent jurist Grotius, it is the duty of each state either to punish the criminals or to return them to the States where they have committed a crime. In practice, however, States do not accept such an obligation. Under International Law, extradition is mostly a matter of bilateral treaty.
In principle, each State considers it a right to give asylum to a foreign national. “ States have always upheld their right to grant asylum to foreign individuals as an inference from their territorial supremacy, those cases where a treaty imposes an obligation to extradite them” (4) Thus there is no universal rule of customary international law in existence imposing the duty of extradition. International Law does not recognize any general duty of States in respect of extradition. Extradition depends on the provisions of the existing extradition treaties. In Factor v.
Laubenheimer(5), the Court held: “ The principles of International Law recognize no right to extradition apart from treaty while a government may, if agreeable to its own constitution and laws, voluntarily exercise the power to surrender a fugitive from justice to the country from which he fled… … the legal right to demand his extradition and the correlative duty to surrender him to the demanding state exist only when created by treaty. ” But as pointed out in Wheaton’ s International law(6), there is no universally recognized practice that there can be no extradition except under a treaty.
Dr. S.K. Kapoor, International Law, Central Law Agency, 15th Ed.
Fact Sheet on US UK Extradition Treaty, US Department of State
Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress
Foreign & Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
Thomas Buergenthal; Sean D. Murphy, Public International Law in a Nutshell, West Publishing