Extradition, in international law, is the process by which one state (requesting State), upon the request of another state (requested State), effects the return of a person for trial for a crime punishable by the laws of the requesting State and committed outside the State of refuge or final convictions.


  – The local laws of both States

Article 38 of the UAE Constitution: “Extradition of citizens and of political refugees is
prohibited”. Federal Law №39 of 2006 regarding International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters

 -Treaties between two States or agreements

The Riyad Arab Convention on Judicial Cooperation of 1983 (was ratified in the UAE by Federal Decree No.53 of 1999 (‘Riyadh Convention’).

The Riyadh Arab Convention Was Ratified By The Following Contracting Parties:

Algeria – Saudi Arabia –  Somalia
Sudan – Syria – Tunisia – United Arab Emirates
Yemen – Palestine – Bahrain
Iraq – Jordan – Libya
Morocco – Mauritania – Oman


a. Persons charged with committing acts punishable under the laws of each of the two Signatory Countries where both laws provide for a custodial penalty of one year or a more severer penalty.

b. Persons charged with acts not punishable by the laws of the ‘Requested Country’, or where the penalty for the offenses under the laws of the Requesting Country has no equivalent under the laws of the Requested Country, provided (in either case) the person subject to the extradition request, is a national of the Requesting Country or a national of another contracting party whose laws provide for the same penalty as those provided by the laws of the Requesting Country.

c. Persons convicted in person or in absentia by the courts of the Requesting Country where the crime requires a custodial penalty of one year or a more severe penalty, for acts punishable under the laws of the Requested Country.

An Alternative Ground For Extradition: “International Courtesy”

In International Law, there is a concept of “international courtesy”. It means that if the bilateral treaty is absent, there are no legal obligations for the jurisdiction of the Requested State to extradite a person to Requesting State.

But there are some incidents, when the country applying for extradition (Requesting State) invokes the concept of “international courtesy”, promising to extend the same treatment to the country receiving the application should the latter elect to cooperate.


1. The General Attorney of the requesting party
2. The Ministry of Justice of the requesting party
3.  The Ministry of foreign affairs of the requesting part
4.  The Embassy of the requesting party in the capital of the country receiving the request
5.  The Ministry of foreign affairs of the requested party
6.  The Ministry of Justice.


1. The subject person is a UAE national

2. The crime subject of the extradition request a political crime

3. The crime subject of extradition is limited to violating military duties

4. There are sufficient reasons to believe that the extradition request is meant to pursue or punish a person due to his race, religion, nationality, political views.

5. The subject person underwent investigation procedures or trials for the same crime subject of extradition and was acquitted; or convicted but served the punishment for which he was judged.

6. The criminal lawsuit was fortified or the penalty was dropped due to passage of time when the extradition file was filed.

7. The person subject of extradition was subjected or could be subjected in the Requesting Country to torture, inhuman treatment, humiliating treatment or cruel punishment which does not conform to the crime.


Extradition is a mixed process: it is neither purely legal, nor political.

The UAE fully understands the importance of international judicial cooperation and more precisely extradition in combating crimes. Therefore, the UAE not only enforces its domestic laws but also continues to enter into bilateral and multilateral treaties with the aim of fighting crimes with a
wider reach.

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