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Hinder mot utlämning för politiska brott – i själva verket främst ett hinder mot utveckling av den internationella brottsbekämpningen?

Durehed, Jessica LU (2012) JURM02 20121
Department of Law
Abstract
The political offence exception to extradition has been fundamental in extradition law for a long time, but the reasons for maintaining the exception – as well as its precise meaning – are disputed. There is no generally accepted precise definition of the concept political offence, neither internationally nor nationally. Traditionally, three reasons have been given for maintaining a political offence exception to extradition. First, the exception is considered to protect individuals against the risk of political persecution or politicized and arbitrary trials. Second, political crimes have been considered to be a national issue that do not justify international cooperation in criminal matters, since the crime is directed against a... (More)
The political offence exception to extradition has been fundamental in extradition law for a long time, but the reasons for maintaining the exception – as well as its precise meaning – are disputed. There is no generally accepted precise definition of the concept political offence, neither internationally nor nationally. Traditionally, three reasons have been given for maintaining a political offence exception to extradition. First, the exception is considered to protect individuals against the risk of political persecution or politicized and arbitrary trials. Second, political crimes have been considered to be a national issue that do not justify international cooperation in criminal matters, since the crime is directed against a particular state and its current government. Third, the political offence exception provides countries with an opportunity to remain neutral towards other countries’ internal political conditions. These traditional arguments behind the political offence exception have often been dismissed as obsolete – or even fundamentally wrong – and the exception is increasingly being seen as an impediment to the further development of international cooperation in criminal matters, in particular in the fight against terrorism. Moreover, the difficulties in defining a political crime have caused the political offence exception to evolve into one of the more controversial issues in international extradition law. A clear trend towards attempting to limit or eliminate the political offence exception to extradition can be noticed.

The Swedish extradition law has recently undergone a review (Utlämningsutredningen, SOU 2011:71) and it has been suggested that an exception for political crimes should be maintained in a reformed extradition law. However, the exception should be optional and reserved for the government to consider. The purpose of this thesis has been to examine whether it is possible to go further and completely discard the concept of political crimes from extradition law, and if so, should it be done. The study has shown that there are many indications that the Swedish extradition law could do away with the concept of political offence and that an abolishment of the concept would bring about some benefits from a predictability point of view and for the further development of international cooperation to combat terrorism in particular. Political dissidents are protected from extradition by other – existing or proposed – provisions. However, caution is warranted since the abolition of the political offence exception can place the individual as well as the requested state in a difficult position. The individual may need to adduce detailed evidence about an existing risk of abusive treatment in the requesting state and it may become more difficult for the requested state to maintain neutrality. Furthermore, perhaps the time is still not ripe to discard the concept of political crimes from Swedish extradition law. The trend, however, seems to be towards discarding the political offence exception and towards focusing on the protection of the individual’s human rights in extradition cases. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Förbudet mot utlämning för politiska brott har länge varit grundläggande inom utlämningsrätten, men såväl skälen för att upprätthålla förbudet som dess närmare innebörd är omtvistade. Någon generellt accepterad tydlig definition av vad som avses med begreppet politiskt brott finns inte, varken internationellt eller nationellt. Traditionellt har i princip tre skäl angetts för upprätthållande av ett förbud mot utlämning för politiska brott. För det första har förbudet ansetts skydda enskilda mot risken för politisk förföljelse eller politiserade och godtyckliga rättegångar. För det andra har politiska brott ansetts vara en nationell angelägenhet som inte motiverar internationellt straffrättsligt samarbete, eftersom brottet är riktat mot en... (More)
Förbudet mot utlämning för politiska brott har länge varit grundläggande inom utlämningsrätten, men såväl skälen för att upprätthålla förbudet som dess närmare innebörd är omtvistade. Någon generellt accepterad tydlig definition av vad som avses med begreppet politiskt brott finns inte, varken internationellt eller nationellt. Traditionellt har i princip tre skäl angetts för upprätthållande av ett förbud mot utlämning för politiska brott. För det första har förbudet ansetts skydda enskilda mot risken för politisk förföljelse eller politiserade och godtyckliga rättegångar. För det andra har politiska brott ansetts vara en nationell angelägenhet som inte motiverar internationellt straffrättsligt samarbete, eftersom brottet är riktat mot en specifik stats för tillfället rådande styrelseskick. För det tredje ger utlämningsförbudet länder en möjlighet att förhålla sig neutrala till andra länders inrikespolitiska förhållanden. Dessa traditionella skäl bakom förbudet mot utlämning för politiska brott har emellertid ofta avfärdats såsom föråldrade eller t.o.m. i grunden felaktiga och förbudet har alltmer kommit att uppfattas som ett hinder mot en fortsatt utveckling av det internationella straffrättsliga samarbetet och bekämpandet av framförallt terrorism. Definitionssvårigheterna har vidare gjort att förbudet utvecklats till ett av de mer kontroversiella spörsmålen i det internationella utlämningssamarbetet och man kan se en tydlig tendens att försöka begränsa eller helt avskaffa förbudet mot utlämning för politiska brott.

Den s.k. Utlämningsutredningen (SOU 2011:71) har nyligen gjort en översyn av utlämningslagstiftningen och bl.a. föreslagit att en avslagsgrund avseende politiska brott bör finnas kvar i en reformerad utlämningslag, men att avslagsgrunden bör vara fakultativ och förbehållen regeringen att pröva. Syftet med den här uppsatsen har varit att granska huruvida man kan – och borde – gå längre och fullständigt utmönstra begreppet politiskt brott ur utlämningslagstiftningen. Granskningen har utvisat att mycket talar för att begreppet borde kunna slopas och att ett slopande skulle innebära vissa fördelar ur förutsägbarhetssynpunkt och för en fortsatt utveckling av det internationella straffrättsliga samarbetet för bekämpande av framförallt terrorism. Politiska dissidenter skyddas mot utlämning av andra – befintliga eller av Utlämningsutredningen föreslagna – utlämningshinder. Försiktighet är emellertid påkallad eftersom avskaffande av förbudet mot utlämning för politiska brott kan försätta såväl den eftersökte individen som den anmodade staten i en besvärlig situation. Den enskilde kan behöva förebringa mer detaljerad bevisning om att risk för oegentlig behandling i den ansökande staten föreligger och den anmodade staten kan eventuellt få svårare att hävda neutralitet i utlämningsärenden. Måhända är tiden ännu inte heller mogen för att utmönstra begreppet politiskt brott ur den svenska utlämningsrätten. Utvecklingen tycks dock gå mot att förpassa förbudet mot utlämning för politiska brott till rättshistorian och att i utlämningsärenden istället fokusera på skyddet av den enskildes mänskliga rättigheter. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Durehed, Jessica LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The Political Offence Exception to Extradition - Primarily an Impediment Against the Development of International Cooperation in Criminal Matters?
course
JURM02 20121
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
politiskt brott, politiska brott, utlämning, straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
2688652
date added to LUP
2012-10-15 10:42:11
date last changed
2012-10-15 10:42:11
@misc{2688652,
  abstract     = {The political offence exception to extradition has been fundamental in extradition law for a long time, but the reasons for maintaining the exception – as well as its precise meaning – are disputed. There is no generally accepted precise definition of the concept political offence, neither internationally nor nationally. Traditionally, three reasons have been given for maintaining a political offence exception to extradition. First, the exception is considered to protect individuals against the risk of political persecution or politicized and arbitrary trials. Second, political crimes have been considered to be a national issue that do not justify international cooperation in criminal matters, since the crime is directed against a particular state and its current government. Third, the political offence exception provides countries with an opportunity to remain neutral towards other countries’ internal political conditions. These traditional arguments behind the political offence exception have often been dismissed as obsolete – or even fundamentally wrong – and the exception is increasingly being seen as an impediment to the further development of international cooperation in criminal matters, in particular in the fight against terrorism. Moreover, the difficulties in defining a political crime have caused the political offence exception to evolve into one of the more controversial issues in international extradition law. A clear trend towards attempting to limit or eliminate the political offence exception to extradition can be noticed.

The Swedish extradition law has recently undergone a review (Utlämningsutredningen, SOU 2011:71) and it has been suggested that an exception for political crimes should be maintained in a reformed extradition law. However, the exception should be optional and reserved for the government to consider. The purpose of this thesis has been to examine whether it is possible to go further and completely discard the concept of political crimes from extradition law, and if so, should it be done. The study has shown that there are many indications that the Swedish extradition law could do away with the concept of political offence and that an abolishment of the concept would bring about some benefits from a predictability point of view and for the further development of international cooperation to combat terrorism in particular. Political dissidents are protected from extradition by other – existing or proposed – provisions. However, caution is warranted since the abolition of the political offence exception can place the individual as well as the requested state in a difficult position. The individual may need to adduce detailed evidence about an existing risk of abusive treatment in the requesting state and it may become more difficult for the requested state to maintain neutrality. Furthermore, perhaps the time is still not ripe to discard the concept of political crimes from Swedish extradition law. The trend, however, seems to be towards discarding the political offence exception and towards focusing on the protection of the individual’s human rights in extradition cases.},
  author       = {Durehed, Jessica},
  keyword      = {politiskt brott,politiska brott,utlämning,straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hinder mot utlämning för politiska brott – i själva verket främst ett hinder mot utveckling av den internationella brottsbekämpningen?},
  year         = {2012},
}