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The Political Offence Exemption

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Chapter Summary

The political offence exemption is used to be the "hot issue" of extradition law. One of the principal reasons given for the exemption in the nineteenth century was that it would permit the requested State to remain aloof from the internal affairs of the requesting State. Terrorism is unlikely to disappear in the near future, however, so cases where the limits of the exemption are tested will continue to arise. A pure political offence is one "directed solely against the political order". The fugitive raising the political offence defence may have committed the extradition crime in a variety of settings, ranging from a war to the offices of an international bank. A variety of solutions have been proposed to meet the problems facing the political offence exemption at the end of the twentieth century. This chapter reviews such suggestions critically and adopt so much of them as will prove useful.

Keywords: extradition law; political offence exemption; pure political offence; requesting State; terrorism



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