What is an extradition treaty?
Extradition is the procedure by which a person accused or convicted of an offence under the law of one State is arrested in another State and returned to the first State to stand trial or to serve a sentence already imposed.
Types of extradition in Spain
- Active extradition: the Spanish authorities request the extradition of a person who is abroad - governed by the Criminal Procedure Code-.
- Passive extradition: the Spanish authorities hand over to the State requesting extradition a person who is within our borders , - regulated in Law 4/1985 of 21 March 1985 on Passive Extradition (Article 7 et seq.
When can extradition be requested in Spain?
In accordance with the principle of dual criminalityThe facts for which extradition is requested must constitute an offence both under the criminal law of the requesting State and under Spanish criminal law.
In addition, extradition is a procedure based on the principle of reciprocity. This means that there is a treaty to which both states are subscribing and by which the country requesting extradition must also grant extradition to the other in similar cases.
What offences are excluded from extradition in Spain?
According to the current extradition regulations, extradition may not be granted in the following cases.
- Political and military offences, not including those classified as terrorism.
- Crimes against humanity.
- An attack on a Head of State or his family.
- Offences committed in the exercise of freedom of expression through the media.
- Crimes at the request of a party with the exception of rape, rape, abduction and indecent assault.
- Offences committed by a person who has the status of an asylum seeker.
- There are insufficient guarantees on the part of the requesting State that it will not execute or subject the requested person to inhuman punishment.
Regulation of extradition in Spain
Extradition is regulated by international treaties and by the laws of the states involved, as set out in the Article 13 of the Spanish Constitution and the Article 1 of the Passive Extradition Act in force on 21 March 1985.
In this sense, within the legal regime of extradition, the following concur bilateral treaties in which each State has the power to establish its internal rules on extradition; International treaties and rules of national law.
Which countries have an extradition agreement with Spain?
The so-called Euro-warrants facilitate the process of surrendering fugitives within the European Union. Thus, Spain can request extraditions of fugitives from state justice to its 26 EU partners.
To this list, we must add the 36 countries around the world with which the Spanish authorities have signed bilateral extradition agreements, as detailed by the Ministry of Justice: Switzerland, Liberia, Monaco, Cuba, Algeria, China, Cape Verde, India, Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Kazakhstan, among others.
On the other hand, there is the European Convention on Extradition (1957), through which Spain can request the surrender of persons with search and arrest warrants to 21 other countries.
Countries without an extradition agreement with Spain
At present, there are 121 countries with which Spain has no extradition treaty in force and where, therefore, there is no guarantee that fugitives will be handed over unless an agreement is reached between the respective governments.
Most of them are in Africa, Asia and Oceania, with notable exceptions in the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saint Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Republic of Congo
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Equatorial Guinea
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
- Saudi Arabia
- North Korea
- Sri Lanka
- East Timor
- Marshall Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
Procedure for requesting extradition
Extradition shall be processed through diplomatic channels and the request shall be made, in writing, by the judge or court responsible, either ex officio or at the request of a party.
The request must be sent in the form of a petition to the Minister of Justice through the President of the respective Audiencia, together with:
- Verbatim testimony of the extradition order.
- Report or claim of the Public Prosecutor's Office.
- The steps necessary to justify the extradition request.
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