The inability of a state to exercise its
jurisdiction within in the territory of another
State would seriously undermine the maintainance of law and order if
there were no cooperation in the administration of justice. The awareness among
national decision-makers of the social necessity of jurisdictional co-operation
is illustrated by the widespread practice of returning a person who is accused
or who has been convicted of a crime to the state in which the crime was
Extradition is the delivery of an accused or a
convicted individual to the State on whose territory he is alleged to have
committed or to have been convicted of a crime by the State on whose territory
the alleged criminal happens to be for the time being.2
Under the International law, extradition is mostly a
matter of bilateral treaty. In principle, each State considers it a right to
give asylum to a foreign national.
States have always upheld their right to grant
asylum to foreign individuals as an inference from their territorial supermacy,
those cases where a treaty imposes an obligation to extradit them.3
Thus there is no universal rule of customary
international law in existence imposing the duty of extradition.
The purpose of extradition is to prevent criminals
who flee from a jurisdiction to escape from punishment for a criminal offence
they have been accused or convicted of.
The objective of extradition is to prevent crimes
and punish the persons accused or convicted of crimes. If a person commits some
crime in a country and to escape punishment flees from that country to another
country, then through the process of extradition, such a person is brought to
the jurisdiction of that country where he had committed the crime and is tried
and punished for the crime. If on account of some technicalities of law or lack
of jurisdiction, the criminal cannot be punished, then through the process of
extradition he can be punished by being brought to the country where the
committed the crime.
In the country where he committed the crime, it
would be convenient to adduce the evidence against the accused.
Thus, the object of the process of extradition is to
prevent and reduce the crimes in the international field. Thus the role of
extradition is to prevent crimes and punish criminals. It is the interest of
all countries to prevent crimes because, the country in which a person of
criminal character resides, it is in the interest of such a country to ensure
extradition of such a person.
1 Edward Collins International Law
in a Changing World (1969), p. 216.
2 L. Oppenheim, International Law,
Vol. I, Eighth Edition, p. 696; See also Oppenheim’s International Law, Ninth
Edition, Vol. I, Edited by Sir Robert
Jennings and Sir Arthur Watts, Longman Group U.K. Ltd and Mrs. Tomoko
Hudson, 1992, pp. 948-949.
International Law, note 2, p. 950.