is the process by which a criminal suspect
held by one government
is handed over to another government for trial
, or if the suspect has already been tried, to serve his or her sentence
General considerations are that
- The crime must be serious
- It must be a crime in both countries
- The extradited person must reasonably expect a fair trial in the recipient country.
- The likely penalty must be proportionate in both countries. Thus, many countries such as Mexico and most European countries will only allow extradition to the US, or other countries with a death penalty, if it is agreed that the death penalty will not be applied to this person. (This is controversial in the United States, where it is seen by many as an attempt by other countries to dictate domestic criminal procedures and penalties.)
Extradition is usually covered by a bilateral treaty which spells out the terms of an extradition, including the crimes for which people will be extradited. It is usually reciprocal in terms of conditions, but there are exceptions.
French law bars the government from extraditing French citizens. This is of course controversial in other countries whenever a French citizen commits a crime in that country and makes it back to France and safety.