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REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL EXTRADITION

PURSUANT TO SECTION 211 OF PUBLIC LAW 106-113

This report is submitted by the Secretary of State to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on International Relations in response to the requirements of Section 211 of the Admiral James W. Nance and Meg Donovan Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001, Public Law 106-113.   A copy of Section 211 is attached hereto.  As provided in Section 211(a), this report is based on a review of extradition treaties and other agreements containing extradition obligations to which the United States is a party.   Pursuant to Section 211(a), the discussion herein is limited to those treaties where the United States has diplomatic relations with the treaty partner.  This report incorporates input and contributions from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Section 211(b) sets forth five issues that are to be addressed in this report.  The issues reflect concerns that have arisen from time to time in cases under the U.S. Government’s international extradition practice.  This report begins with an overview of United States extradition policy and practice in order to provide context for the answers that follow to the specific questions contained in Section 211(b).  

Background:  Overview of United States International Extradition Practice

United States extradition practice is based almost entirely on individually negotiated bilateral treaties, which the United States brings into force following Senate advice and consent to ratification.1   The United States is currently a party to over 110 such treaties.  While most of these treaties currently in force have been negotiated in the last 30-40 years, many of the treaties still in force are quite old, in some cases dating back to the 19th Century.2

The United States has embarked on an ambitious program of updating many of our older bilateral extradition treaties, particularly with countries with which we have, or can anticipate, a significant law enforcement need to seek or make extraditions.  In October 1998, for example, as part of the largest group of law enforcement treaties ever heard at once, the U.S. Senate considered and approved eighteen extradition treaties --

1 Domestic law relevant to extradition is set forth in 18 U.S.C. §§ 3181-3196.  The two exceptions to the requirement for a treaty are set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3181(b), providing for extradition of non-Americans to stand trial for violent crimes committed against Americans abroad, and 18 U.S.C. § 3181 Note, providing for extradition to the International Criminal Tribunals established by the United Nations Security Council with respect to Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

2 Some of these treaty relationships result from decolonization, where new nations (e.g., in the Caribbean, Africa and South Asia) accepted the obligations of existing extradition treaties as successor states upon independence.  About 25 of our treaty relationships are with former British dependencies which assumed the UK’s treaty obligations upon independence.

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