Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



Extradition is a legal device whereby a state requests from an-other the surrender of a person accused or convicted of a crime. It is one of the modes of cooperation in penal matters between states. One rationale for extradition is that all states have an obligation to cooperate in the suppression of criminality and must, therefore, surrender to each other accused and fugitive offenders. This ration-ale is based on the maxim "aut dedere aut iudicare". Extradition law and practice have been slow to recognize the rights of those persons who are the objects of its proceedings. In fact, the whole process of extradition is considered as a relationship between states in which the individual has no rights other than those conferred on him or her by the requested and requesting states. This situation permits the violation of human rights and only recently has been challenged. The processes of extradition involve the re-quested and requesting states, but there are two additional participants whose interests must be considered: the individual and the world community. For the first participant, certain minimum human rights must be protected; for the second, minimum world order must be preserved. So far, these two interests are not adequately recognized and extradition continues to be practiced as a matter solely concerning the respective states without regard for human rights and the impact of the practice on minimum world order. This article deals only with one of the facets of the problems of extradition law and practice, focusing attention on human rights and world community interests in the preservation of such rights, the integrity of the international legal process and the preservation of minimum world order.