In the event of extradition, a State delivers to another a person who is present in its territory and who has been found to be a criminal in the territory and the laws of another State or who has committed crimes outside the territory of that State but who is its national or citizen and according to its laws is under its jurisdiction and liable for criminal acts.
Basis of the principle of extradition
With the exception of external territorial jurisdiction, almost all states have jurisdiction over their citizens within the limits of their territorial sovereignty. Sometimes such a situation arises that a person after committing a crime in his own country flies to a foreign country. As such, the country concerned finds it difficult to punish and have jurisdiction over this truant criminal. This situation is dangerous for peace and order. In these circumstances, peace and order can only be maintained if there is international cooperation among nations to maintain international peace and order. To meet the social need to punish criminals, the principle of extradition is used. Previously customary, now in all cases, extradition is governed by extradition treaties which are generally bilateral.
Doctrine of non-extradition of political offenders
In the context of extradition in international law, there is a famous rule that political offenders are not extradited. According to Edward Collins, the majority of countries refuse to extradite these people who have committed offenses for political purposes. Courts have always found it difficult to apply the political offender rules in a real case. Not to extradite a political offender began in 1789 with the advent of the French Revolution. Later, other countries also agreed not to grant the extradition of political offenders. In modern times, more or less all countries have accepted the principle of non-extradition of political offenders, although there are many difficulties in applying this principle and the most difficult problem is the definition of the political offense and political offenders.
In Re Meunier case, it was considered as to what is political offence? The Court decided the case by answering the above question , stating that a crime can be said to be a political offence when in the concerned state there are two or more political parties and each of them are trying to make government of their party and having this object, the crime was committed.
In the Re Castoni case, the Queens Bench of England ruled that Castoni’s crime was political, therefore, the extradition order cannot be issued.