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Extradition Process: key features to understand the scope of the extradition process

Extradition is a judicial process through which a State requests the return of a person accused of a crime who has been imprisoned in another country as a result of an international arrest warrant, with the intention of prosecuting him or her or continuing the sentence already imposed. It is regulated by international treaties and in the laws of each country, since in order to be effective it is necessary to sign international agreements that protect this figure between the nations involved. In the absence of such prior agreement, the State may execute the extradition but is not obliged to do so.

The characteristics of the Extradition process

An extradition may involve a government agency, the courts, or both, as appropriate.. There are two types of extradition: the active and the passive. The first case involves a request by a requesting State for the surrender of a person to be subjected to legal and criminal proceedings, and the legal principles of (I) dual criminality, (II) legality, (III) reciprocity, (IV) non-surrender to nationals, (V) specialty, (VI) respect for the sentence, and finally (VII) the "non bis in idem".Passive extradition is the formal surrender by a State of an individual who has been requested by another country for crimes committed and with the intention of carrying out a judicial process.

Even though each international convention proposes different measuresIn general, most treaties of this nature require that the requesting State demonstrate with convincing evidence the existence of a cause for prosecution of the accused, or that the crime has been criminalized as such in the criminal legislation of the requested country.

Countries belonging to the Organization of American States (OAS), including Venezuela, adopted an inter-American convention on extradition. In this document, nations are obliged to hand over to other signatory countries, upon request, persons who are wanted for prosecution, as well as persons who have been indicted, convicted or sentenced to imprisonment.

In order for extradition to proceed under this treaty, the offense must have been committed in the territory of the requesting State. Extradition is declared inadmissible when the person sought has served the sentence, or has been amnestied, pardoned or granted a pardon for the crime that motivated the extradition request. The same occurs when the criminal action is prescribed or when the circumstances of the case may infer that the cause of the request responds to persecutory acts for religious, racial or nationality reasons.

Likewise, in as to the process the beginning "non bis in idem".In the sense that extradition will not be granted if the requested person is being prosecuted for the same act in the country in which he/she was detained. Finally, it is important to analyze whether the jurisdictional and penitentiary system of the requesting country guarantees the following human rights of the defendants.

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