The Political Features of the Extradition

Author Name(s): Kamila D. Shaibakova, Maria V. Talan
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This article is devoted to the matters of extradition of the persons who have committed a crime and its political characteristics which complicate the procedure, doing it inefficient and dependent on a political situation in the world. The extradition is one of the most used procedures of the international cooperation. However, its legal regulation still needs improvement. According to requirements, extradition of the person who is pursued for political crimes is forbidden. However, what is political crime still isn’t clear. In the legislation of the Russian Federation there is no accurate definition and special rules to define whether crime is crime of political character. In this article various definitions and tests which are used in various jurisdictions are considered. Authors consider that the approach chosen by Germany and Switzerland is the most appropriate as considers not only the act, but also motives and consequences as forming structure of political crime. Authors consider that legislative acceptance of definition or the special test can influence in a due measure reduction of influence of policy by the right in the context of an extradition.


Nowadays extradition as one of the main instruments of international cooperation is used more frequently. Globalization, flexible visa and border regimes, migration are invoked to be the main reasons for that. Nonetheless, extradition process raises difficulties in the application that makes the process highly inefficient. Extradition claims to be a procedure dependent on the politics. This feature frequently uses by states and individuals to abuse the law and rights. Thus, the main purpose of the article is to consider whether it is possible to improve the surrender of criminals by reducing or eliminating the political elements.


In the article, we considered a variety of definitions of a ‘political offence’ and tests that are applied by different jurisdictions such as Switzerland, France, the United States and others. We based our reasoning on the case-law, academia, and current politics. In order to draw conclusions, the comparative, systematic and historical methods were applied.

The Russian Federation is advised to incorporate the definition of the ‘political offence’ in the legislation. Currently, there is neither definition, not the special determining test that could assist authorities. Such definition seems to be a tool for the improvement of the extradition and assist in the reduction of the political influence on the surrender. The elimination of the politics seems to be a premature thought to consider. The example of the European Union that successfully applies the concept of ‘mutual trust’ and eliminated the ‘political offence’ exception is a great role model, which would be highly difficult to apply elsewhere, except regional framework.


The article sheds light on the possible steps to reduce the influence of the politics on the extradition. The paper present only one possible solution which is connected with the establishment of a clear political offence definition and determining test. We propose to undertake the German and Swiss approaches in this regard and consider the motives and consequences as of paramount importance. It shall be noted that the research is limited to the legal point of view while the topic is of a complex and interdisciplinary nature. Therefore, different approaches to the problem can be undertaken from different backgrounds such as social science, politics, international relations, negotiations and etc. The strong and detailed legal framework, nevertheless, is a basis for the improvement of the extradition process.



The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University.


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