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REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL EXTRADITION - page 14 / 18

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In this respect, we do not believe that new sanctions provisions related to foreign government performance under extradition treaties are necessary or desirable as a matter of the sound management of U.S. foreign assistance or international diplomacy.  Extradition is one of many issues in our bilateral relations with countries that receive U.S. assistance.  Countries which are working with us cooperatively in many ways (e.g., security, trade, migration, other diplomatic cooperation) should not have assistance terminated as a matter of law based on this single issue without consideration of other factors.  Even in the context of law enforcement cooperation, there are countries that are cooperating with us in important ways outside of the extradition area and should not be sanctioned based on problems with a single aspect of law enforcement cooperation.  For example, countries may be providing us evidence to support other prosecutions or helping us with investigative leads, working with us on counterterrorism or counternarcotics matters, or prosecuting domestically the same persons we are seeking for extradition.

Moreover, sanctions schemes in this context cannot be administered with set legislative formulas given the nature of international extradition.   The United States has over 110 diverse individual extradition treaty relationships in force.  Each of these relationships presents unique issues and histories, as well as different considerations arising from the way in which the treaties were negotiated and implemented.  Some of these treaties are dormant and have not been invoked in many years. Implementation of others is an evolving matter, since many countries are now reconsidering their extradition laws and practices.  In some cases, the governments of the countries are operating under constitutions or national laws they themselves would like to change.  And as with the United States, extradition from many countries involves decisions by independent judges interpreting the applicable treaty and domestic law, which can sometimes result in the denial of U.S. requests.

In sum, the implementation of extradition treaties is a dynamic and sometimes difficult process.  With diverse legal systems, policies and practices, it is prone to successes and failures.  We are working hard to address the problem areas, including working with the Senate to update many of our existing treaties as part of our ongoing negotiating program.

Legislative Efforts

U.S. domestic extradition law is generally quite satisfactory -- most of the U.S. Government’s efforts are focused instead on improving our extradition practice by updating our extradition treaties (and sometimes creating new treaty relationships) and engaging with our foreign counterparts regarding improved implementation of their domestic laws and policies.  Legislative action is generally not required, except to the extent that an updated or new treaty needs to be approved by the Senate. The Departments of Justice and State thus see no need for major overhauls of the U.S. extradition laws.

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