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Prof. Neil Boister will present a paper that addresses double criminality in the law of extradition.

Event details of The Simplification of the Law of Extradition at a Global Level (ACIL Lecture)
Date 13 October 2016
Time 16:00 -17:30


In United States v Ferras Chief Justice McClaughlin of Canada held that ‘International comity does not require the extradition of a person on demand or surmise.’ It is a tacit admission that there is increasing pressure to make extradition simpler and thus more effective in suppression of transnational crime. Simplification can occur in many ways. In this lecture, the speaker will focus on double criminality and its relationship, at least in the common law world, with sufficiency of evidence requirements.

The process of reform of extradition law in many different jurisdictions is putting pressure on the principle of double criminality. Perhaps the most global development in this regard is the shift from a strict approach to matching different crimes in the requesting and requested state to one which seeks only to establish whether the underlying conduct is criminalized. Another way is to hollow out the evidence required to establish that conduct so that authorized summaries suffice. The speaker will explore the function of double criminality in the law of extradition, the values it protects focusing in particular on its role in protecting legality, sketch how it has been simplified over time, and then explore where it is heading. The basic thesis that the paper by Prof. Boister will try to sustain is that double criminality is an obstacle in what appears to be a global process of simplification of extradition law that shifts the attention of the requested state from a substantive enquiry into the nature of the criminalisation of the offence by the requesting state to a procedural enquiry that looks at whether the process is formally authorised and is fair (in a limited sense).

About the speaker

Professor Neil Boister is professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Waikato. His initial specialisation was in international Humanitarian Law and international drug control law. More recently, his research interests lie in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, international tobacco control and the area of transnational crime generally.


Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Room A101


The ACIL regularly organizes ACIL Lectures at which external speakers present papers relevant to research carried out at the ACIL. ACIL Lectures are open to all; registration is not required.