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An analysis of the competing factors within an extradition decision.

Ubiebor, Onamiru G.


Onamiru G. Ubiebor


Eric Ogilvie-Brown


In an era where an increasing number of states are affected by various types and forms of transnational crime - including terrorism, cybercrime, financial crime, murder, illegal drugs, and human trafficking - one response has been a greater emphasis upon and employment of extradition agreements. These agreements are intended to make the transfer of the alleged offender easier. However, ironically, these agreements also contain provisions that directly or indirectly may stymie the process. These include human rights, domestic and international politics as well as language, religion, race and immigration concerns. These are factors that may arise in the court of extradition, and when they are invoked by the alleged offender, they inevitably influence the decision to extradite. Thus, efforts to address the goals of protecting the national security of a state and furthering international cooperation in the interest of law enforcement on the one hand and the protection of the alleged offender, on the other hand, create a tension. These factors create tension because in the course of an extradition decision these conflicting interests are present and are conditioned by the underlying goal of overall justice and fairness in international criminal justice. It is possible to categorise these conflicting factors into two broad groups - legal and non-legal factors. It is further possible to break down these categories into human rights, diplomatic assurances, political factors, social factors and economic factors. The identification of the categories of factors enables a detailed analysis of the decision-making process. One feature arising from this analysis is the appearance of an imbalance between the competing factors – where some states place more emphasis on certain factors and other states on other factors. This occurs in spite of the international nature of extradition obligations – being found largely in bilateral extradition agreements. A facet of extradition law complicating the picture is that most states require to incorporate their international extradition obligations into their national law and procedure. International extradition law and procedure call for consistent identification and weighing-up of the competing factors within extradition decisions. This will allow the creation of a system where the relevant applicable factors are appropriately taken into account and also where the interest of the state parties, offender and victims as well as the international criminal law itself will be appropriately served. This thesis argues that fair and just decisions are made through a thorough identification, conceptualisation and the analysis of the various conflicting factors that are related to and affecting extradition. Therefore, it is the central feature of this thesis to identify, categorise and analyse the factors affecting extradition with the view of allowing a balance to be drawn that will facilitate fairness and justice.


UBIEBOR, O.G. 2018. An analysis of the competing factors within an extradition decision. Robert Gordon University [online], PhD thesis. Available from:

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 13, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 13, 2019
Keywords International law; Extradition; Criminal law; International criminal law; Human rights
Public URL
Award Date Oct 31, 2018


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