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The Malawi-Rwanda Extradition Treaty of February 2017: An Arrangement of Convenience or a Convenience of Arrangement?

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In February 2017, Malawi and Rwanda entered into a bilateral extradition treaty (the Treaty). The Treaty solemnizes the agreement between Malawi and Rwanda for the reciprocal extradition of offenders. While the Treaty looks akin to many generic bilateral extradition treaties, close scrutiny reveals that there are several key issues that the drafters may have overlooked or paid insufficient attention to. This article is an evaluation of some of the issues that the Treaty raises. The article begins by establishing the broad historical and social context within which the Treaty must be understood. Thereafter the article explores extradition in international law paying particular focus to highlight the key elements of extradition. A summary of the Treaty is then provided together with a discussion of the Malawian law pertaining to extradition. The article concludes by highlighting some of the key issues which the Treaty has not addressed satisfactorily.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor of Law, University of Malawi; Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Free State Centre for Human Rights, University of the Free State, South Africa,


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