Extradition in Federal Countries

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Extradition in Federal Countries

“The political structure of countries, such as the federal structure of the United States, can bring about an additional difficulty in extradition proceedings, inasmuch as the governments of foreign nations have official relations only with federal governments, not with the governments of a country’s constituent states. It is not always clear whether an extradition agreement with the federal government is also binding to the states when a matter of state jurisdiction is involved. Also, extradition among states in a federal country is separately regulated.”(1)

In the United States, although the states normally comply with extradition demands, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that they have the right to refuse compliance with the extradition demand.

In many countries, the host government may not order extradition in case of the death penalty from the requesting country if such penalty could be, will be or has been sentenced to death unless that an adequate assurance is received that the death sentence will not be imposed or carried out. In federal countries it is frequently the federal rather than national authority that
authorises the death penalty and the assurance should come from the appropriate source.

Interstate Rendition

Some References

  • Distribution of Powers and Responsibilities in Federal Countries. Akhtar Majeed, ?Ronald L Watts, ?Douglas Brown (2006). “These federal powers and functions extend to foreign jurisdiction, citizenship, naturalization and aliens, and extradition and immigration.”
  • Constitutional Origins, Structure, and Change in Federal Countries. John Kincaid and ?George Alan Tarr (2005). “The matters exclusive to the federal government include, among others, defence; foreign affairs; extradition; police and other government security services.”
  • Foreign Relations in Federal Countries. Hans Michelmann (2009) “… implementation of treaties, agreements, and conventions with foreign countries; war and peace; foreignjurisdiction; extradition and admission, immigration and …”
  • Handbook of Federal Countries, 2005. Ann Griffiths (2005). “Some of the important items on the Union List pertain to defence, atomic energy, diplomatic-consular and trade representation, citizenship, extradition, …”
  • Diversity and Unity in Federal Countries. John Kincaid, ?Luis Moreno, ?César Colino (2010). “These are rights of freedom of assembly and association, freedom of movement, and freedom of occupational choice, as well as the prohibition of extradition.”


1. Deflem, Mathieu, and Kyle Irwin. 2006. “Extradition, International.” Pp. 352-354 in Encyclopedia of American Civil Rights and Liberties, edited by Otis H. Stephens, Jr., John M. Scheb II, and Kara E. Stooksbury. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

See Also

Further Reading

  • Dugard, John, and Christine Van den Wyngaert. “Reconciling Extradition with Human Rights.” The American Journal of International Law 92(2):187-212, 1998.
  • Epps, Valerie. “The Development of the Conceptual Framework Supporting International Extradition.” Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review 25:369-387, 2003.
  • Gilbert, Geoff. Aspects of Extradition Law. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1991.
  • Pyle, Christopher H. Extradition, Politics, and Human Rights. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001.
  • Rose, Thomas. “A Delicate Balance: Extradition, Sovereignty, and Individual Rights in the United States and Canada.” The Yale Journal of International Law 27:193-215, 2002.

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