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Convention on extradition between Member States

The aim of the Convention on extradition, now replaced in most cases by the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant, was to facilitate extradition between the Member States in certain cases. It supplemented the other international agreements such as the European Convention on Extradition 1957, the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism 1977 and the European Union Convention on Simplified Extradition Procedure 1995.

ACT

Council Act of 27 September 1996, adopted on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, drawing up the Convention relating to extradition between the Member States of the European Union.

SUMMARY

Although the Convention has been replaced since 1 January 2004 by the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States [Official Journal L 190 of 18.7.2002], it can still be applied in the few cases where the European arrest warrant cannot be used. But it entered into force as between only twelve Member States on 29 June 2005.

The Convention aims to facilitate extradition between the Member States in the cases it specifies. To that end it sets forth a number of principles from which the Member States may depart in certain conditions. Most of the Member States that have ratified the Convention have entered reservations in this respect.

First of all the Convention indicates the circumstances in which the extradition procedure is applicable. These cover offences which are punishable under the law of the requesting Member State by deprivation of liberty or a detention order for a maximum period of at least 12 months and under the law of the requested Member State by deprivation of liberty or a detention order for a maximum period of at least six months. The Convention specifically mentions extradition in the case of conspiracy or an association to commit offences, provided the conspiracy or the association is to commit:

  • one or more of the offences referred to in Articles 1 and 2 of the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism;
  • any other serious offence in the field of drug trafficking or certain forms of crime against individual freedoms or creating a collective danger.

No offence may be regarded by the requested Member State as a political offence. In the case of tax offences, extradition may not be refused on the ground that the requested Member State does not recognise the same type of offence or tax.

Subject to a reservation entered by a Member State, extradition may not, in principle, be refused on the ground that the person claimed is a national of the requested Member State.

Nor, as a general rule, may extradition be refused on the grounds that the prosecution or punishment of the person would be statute-barred according to the law of the requested Member State; however, it must be refused in respect of an offence covered by amnesty.

A person who has been extradited may, in respect of offences committed before his surrender other than those upon which the request for extradition was based, without it being necessary to obtain the consent of the requested Member State, be prosecuted or tried if this entails no deprivation of liberty. However, if after his surrender he has expressly waived the benefit of the rule of speciality, he may be prosecuted, tried or detained with a view to the execution of a sentence or of a detention order restricting his personal liberty.

Each Member State must designate the authority responsible for centralising the transmission and receipt of extradition requests. But any Member State may declare that it allows other Member States having made the same declaration to enter into direct contact with its judicial authorities to request supplementary information concerning extradition requests.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Council Act of 27 September 199690 days after ratification by the Member States-OJ C 313 of 23.6.1996

RELATED ACTS

Council Decision 2003/169/JHA of 27 February 2003 determining which provisions of the 1995 Convention on simplified extradition procedure between the Member States of the European Union and of the 1996 Convention relating to extradition between the Member States of the European Union constitute developments of the Schengen acquis in accordance with the Agreement concerning the Republic of Iceland's and the Kingdom of Norway's association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis [Official Journal L 67 of 12.3.2003].
The purpose of this Decision is to ensure a clear legal relationship between the above Conventions, acknowledging that certain provisions of the 1996 Extradition Convention constitute a development of the Schengen acquis. It took effect on 13 March 2003.

Explanatory report on the Convention relating to extradition between the Member States of the European Union [Official Journal C 191 of 23.6.1997]. 
This report was prepared by the Commission for the sake of clarity and approved by the Council on 26 May 1997.

 
Last updated: 25.10.2005
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