Last updated on December 21st, 2020 at 10:38 am
Due to the international crimes and high speed of transport that allows criminals to leave the countries where the crime was committed to other countries in order to avoid litigation and punishment, it was necessary to resort to international judicial cooperation to combat crime and protect the society from crimes, punish and track criminals wherever they go so as not to escape Hence, the idea of finding judicial legislation that provides for the extradition of the criminals arises. This means that the state relinquishes any person on its territory to another country where s/he is being prosecuted or sentenced, at the latter’s request.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the countries that accepted the implementation of these international conventions and has been proactive and keen to respect these international conventions, which is reflected in Law No. 39 of 2006 regarding International Judicial Cooperation on Criminal Matters.
With regard to extradition, the State has concluded a wide range of international conventions, and various legal provisions have been issued to regulate the extradition or recovery of criminals.
It is important to clarify that our judicial system in the United Arab Emirates divides litigation levels into Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, and (Cassation) Supreme Court. However, as to extradition, the UAE legislator has authorized the Public Prosecution to refer the extradition request directly to the Court of Appeal, as the issue of extradition is considered directly before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme (Cassation) Court only. Pursuant to the Law, the extradition request shall be deliberated at a secret hearing in the presence of the Public Prosecution, the extraditable person, and his lawyer.
The Attorney General or the extraditable person shall also have the right to appeal the decision issued by the Court of Appeal before the Court of Cassation within thirty days from the date of the decision.
With regard to extradition cases, there are (4) extradition requirements set out in Article (7) of Law No. (39) of 2006 regarding International Judicial Cooperation on Criminal Matters, but it should be clarified that bilateral or collective international conventions are insufficient, as there are other elements and sources that are supplementary to international conventions, namely:
Reciprocity: Unfortunately, many countries are only concerned with domestic laws and omit or ignore the importance of this principle, which may prevent the process of extradition.
With regard to the possibility of refusing extradition requests, there are 10 cases of refusal of extradition defined in Article (9) of Law No. 39 of 2006, namely:
1. If the extraditable person holds the nationality of the State;
2. If the law in force the State stipulates that jurisdiction related to the offense for which extradition is requested is instituted for the competent judicial authorities;
3. If the offense in question is a political offense or related to a political offense, and such offenses shall not include crimes of terrorism, war crimes, crimes of mankind genocide, offenses committed against the President of State or a member of his family, his deputy, a member of the Supreme Council or a member of his family, the Prime Minister, or other persons of international protection, as well as crimes of assault on State’s facilities and fundamental interests;
4. If the offense for which extradition is requested is limited to breach of military duties;
5. If there are serious grounds for believing that an extradition request is intended to prosecute or punish a person for reasons related to his or her ethnicity, religion, nationality, or political opinion, or that the availability of any such reasons would prejudice that person’s status;
6. If the person whose extradition is requested was subject to investigation or trial proceedings in the State for the same crime for which s/he is extradited;
7. If the person whose extradition is requested has already been tried for the offense for which s/he is extradited, and s/he is acquitted or convicted and s/he fulfills the sentence;
8. If a final judgment is rendered by the State’s courts in relation to the offense for which extradition is requested;
9. If the criminal case has been abated or the penalty has prescribed when the extradition request is submitted; or
10. If the extraditable person has been or may be subjected to torture or inhuman or humiliating treatment or cruel punishment that is not commensurate with the offense in the requesting State, or if s/he does not have the minimum guarantees established in the Criminal Procedures Law.
For clarity, even if a decision of no extradition is taken by the court of jurisdiction, this does not preclude a further decision on the possibility of extradition based on a subsequent request of the requesting State when new reasons not previously raised before the court of jurisdiction arise.
With regard to extradition cases, there are four extradition requirements set forth in Article (7) of Law No. (39) of 2006, namely:
1. The offense for which extradition is requested shall be punishable under the law of the requesting State with at least 1-year custodial sentence or any other severe penalty.
2. The act, for which extradition is requested, if committed in the territory of the State, constitutes an offense that is punishable with at least 1-year custodial sentence or any other severe penalty.
3. If the extradition request relates to the execution of a custodial sentence in one of the offenses for which extradition is requested, the extradition may only be made if the remaining period of sentence is not be less than six months.
4. Determining of whether the act for which extradition is requested constitutes an offense that is punishable under the laws of the two States shall not affect the fact that the offense is listed under a different name or description or has different elements in both States.
Thus, we have been briefed on the concept of extradition, which has been considered for a long time by legal researchers and the significant conditions applied in this subject.