Essays on Extradition Requests by the United States under the Extradition Treaty of 2003 Case Study

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The paper 'Extradition Requests by the United States under the Extradition Treaty of 2003 " is a good example of a business case study.   On the last day of March 2003, the United Kingdom and the United States of America formalised an extradition treaty  intended to replace the previous one in a hope to prosecute terrorists and criminals in a speedier way. The 2003 Extradition Treaty has raised much controversy because of its wide-ranging implications and the growing reach of United States law beyond its borders. It also raised a number of new questions regarding the interplay of international and domestic laws since many believed that it contravened with at least some of UK's international obligation.

However, the UK High Court, as well as the European Court of Justice, has judged that the treaty does not violate the UK or EU law [1]. The 2003 Extradition Treaty was signed as a response to 9/11  and was designed to facilitate the swifter transfer of suspects and also to address challenges faced by prosecutors regarding white-collar crimes. The Extradition Treaty attempts to solve inadequacies of the past extradition treaties signed between the UK and US.

The parliament passed the Extradition Act of 2003 in order to make the treaty a part of British law. Ratification in the US has been delayed however on account of major concerns, most notably by the Irish-American community and civil rights activists. During negotiations for the Extradition Treaty, the US had initially shown hesitation due to concerns over some of the major changes being implemented in it. For instance, even though the treaty quickened the extradition process of terrorist suspects, it restricted the individual rights of an American citizen.

The exception of the political offence had always been an important aspect of previous extradition treaties. According to Irish American lobbyists, the insignificance of political offence exception in the Extradition Treaty 2003, may lead to US individuals being extradited to the UK on the grounds of political offences [2]. Another issue raised by the Extradition Treaty 2003 concerns the allocation of power to the Executive Branch for determining the political motivation behind an extradition request by either country. Politically driven extradition requests were previously determined by the Judicial Branch.

The allocation of power to the Executive branch further reduces the political offence exception as the Branch is more politically answerable to the UK judicial system than to that of US. Diplomatic tensions could increase by a long margin if an extradition request is found to be politically motivated. This issue is further addressed by the Committee on Foreign Relations in a report to the Senate. The Extradition Treaty 2003 does not change the part played by the Judicial Branch in determining the likely implementation of political offence exception to an extradition request. Article 12 of Extradition Treaty 2003 permits the provisional arrest of a suspect before a formal request for extradition is lodged and also permits detention of the suspect for sixty days.

A provisional arrest is a common allowance in numerous treaties under which concerned authorities can without formal requests arrest a fugitive in critical situations. The condition of providing a clear case has been a disputable component of the Extradition Treaty 2003. The rest of European Nations with civil law does not require the provision of a clear case and often it’ s troublesome when attempting extradition from the UK.

These nations grant extradition on the basis of identity proofs of the suspected individual and the accordance with their treaty requirements [3].


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