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The Extradition Act 2003

Comment 13th July 2010

Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It came into force on 1 January 2004 and all import and export extradition requests submitted or received from this date are covered by the Act. It concerns itself with extradition to and from the UK in respect of all territories and in particular implements into UK law the US-UK Extradition Treaty 2003.

Why does this matter?

Among other provisions Part 2 of the Act: Extradition to category 2 territories (non-European Arrest warrant territories) has also caused some controversy as it removed the requirement on the USA to provide prima facie evidence in extraditions from the UK, requiring instead only reasonable suspicion. This was necessary to redress the previous imbalance against the USA under the 1870 Act, as the UK did not have to provide the more onerous prima facieevidence to extradite from the USA. The requirement for the UK is to show probable cause – and although not exactly the same as reasonable suspicion, they are more equal than the 1870 Act and are about as equal as can be, given the differences in the two legal systems and without violating the US Constitution


We should be more like France who do NOT extradite their citizens… But try them in their own country as long as there is prima facie (evidence)

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