The Champion

June 2006 , Page 20 

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Defending The International Extradition Case

By Jacques Semmelman, Karen Snell

You have just been retained or appointed to handle your first international extradition case. Be prepared for a rude shock. Extradition cases are among the most difficult cases to defend. By the end of this article you will understand why. Hopefully, you will also understand how you can best represent your client under very challenging conditions.

Let’s start with some basics. Extradition is an international process whereby a person accused (or convicted) of a crime in a foreign country is sent to that country to stand trial (or to serve a sentence). We will focus on extradition from the United States to a foreign country. Extradition also occurs from other countries into the United States, but that is not the subject of this article.

Extraditing someone, especially a U.S. citizen, to a foreign country sounds like something that should only happen under extremely stringent conditions, doesn’t it? High burdens of proof . . . broad discovery . . . compelling evidence that the accused wil

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