Double criminality in international extradition law

Blaas, Fey-Constanze (2003-12)

Thesis (LLM)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The object of the thesis is to examine the content and status of the double criminality principle in international extradition law. The double criminality principle says a fugitive c annat be extradited unless the conduct for which his extradition is sought is criminal in both the requesting state and the requested state. This thesis is based on a study of sources of international law and domestic law and ideas presented in legal literature. The double criminality principle has developed over several centuries and it has been embraced by most states in one form or the other. The principle serves several purposes, of which the most dominant is the notion of state sovereignty. States apply the double criminality principle differently due to its multiple rationale. Legal literature has distinguished two main methods of interpretation, called interpretation in abstracto and in concreto. Whereas the in abstracto method focuses on the theoretical punishability of the conduct, the in concreto method attaches importance to all factual, personal and legal aspects. There are also ways of interpretation that are a combination of these two methods. Most states can be classified into one of the two main groups of interpretation, but in general most states have adopted a specific method of interpretation that is unique to each particular state. There is thus no uniform method of interpretation in international extradition law. This thesis attempts to determine whether the double criminality principle has become a rule of customary international law. Though most instruments on international or domestic extradition law include the double criminality principle, the strong disagreement among legal scholars as to the legal status of the principle leads to the conclusion that the double criminality principle is not a rule of international law today. This thesis contains an examination of whether the principle of double criminality can be classified as an international human rights norm. Though the principle of double criminality has striking similarities with human rights as it partly aims at protecting individuals facing extradition, there are also a number of aspects that distinguish the principle from traditional human rights. This is partly attributable to the fact that international extradition law is not the arena where general international human rights have developed. It is therefore concluded that the double criminality principle does not form part of international human rights law.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die oogmerk van hierdie tesis is om die inhoud en status van die beginsel van dubbelkriminaliteit in internasionale uitleweringsreg te ondersoek. Hierdie beginsel behels dat die handeling ten opsigte waarvan die uitlewering versoek is, misdade in beide die staat wat uitlewering versoek as die staat waarvan uitlewering versoek word, is. Die metode wat hierdie tesis onderlê is 'n literatuurstudie van bronne in die internasionale en nasionale reg. Die dubbelkriminaliteitsbeginsel het oor etlike eeue ontwikkel. Dit word gevind in die meeste regstelsels. Die beginsel dien verskeie oogmerke, waarvan staatsoewereiniteit sekerlik die belangrikste is. State pas die beginselop verskillende maniere toe weens die verskeie bestaansredes vir die beginsel. Regsliteratuur tref 'n onderskeid tussen twee belangrike metodes van interpretasie, naamlik die in abstracto en in concreto benaderings. Terwyl die in abstracto metode op die teoretiese strafbaarheid van die handeling fokus, plaas die in concreto benadering klem op die feitelike, persoonlike en konkrete regsaspekte. Daar is kombinasies van hierdie metodes. Meeste state kan geklassifiseer word volgens die twee benaderings, maar tog pas state hierdie benaderings by hul besondere behoeftes aan. Daar is dus geen uniforme metode van interpretasie in internasionale uitleweringsreg nie. Hierdie tesis poog om te bepaal of die dubbelkriminaliteitsbeginsel 'n reël van gemeenregtelike internasionale reg geword het. Alhoewel meeste wetgewing op die terrein van internasionale en nasionale uitleweringsreg die beginsel van dubbelkriminalitiet insluit, is daar sterk meningsverskilonder regsgeleerdes tov die status van die beinsel. Die gevolgtrekking is dat die beginsel nie 'n algemene reël van die internasionale reg is nie. Ten slotte word daar gekyk of die dubbelkriminaliteitsbeginsel as 'n beginsel van internasionale menseregte geklassifiseer kan word. Alhoewel die beginsel ooreemste met menseregtenorme toon - veral die beskerming van die individu in uitleweringsaangeleenthede - is daar 'n aantal aspekte wat d it van menseregte 0 nderskei. I nternasionale uitleweringsreg en internasionale menseregte deel nie dieselfde ontwikkelingsgeskiedenis nie. Die gevolgtrekking is dus dat die dubbelkriminaliteitsbeginsel nie deel vorm van internasionale menseregte nie.

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