Document Type


Publication Date



In 1878 Cardaillac defined extradition as “the right for a State on the territory of which an accused or convicted person has take refuge, to deliver him up to another State wich has requisitioned his return and is competent to judge and punish him.” The term “extradition” was imported to the United States from France, where the decret-loi of Febraury 19, 1791, appears to be the first official document to have used the term. The term is not found in treaties or conventions until 1828. The Latin equivalent to extradition, “tradere”, is not found in early Latin works, but the comparable term “remittere”, which means to remit, is often employed. Thus, although the actual term “extradition” was not used until the late eighteenth century, the notion was extant, and equivalent or similar terms were not uncommon.

This study is a comparative analysis of the international law of extradition as applied through the general extradition law of the United States and France. It will compare each country’s approach to and attitude toward the phenomenon of extradition in a systematic analysis of the United States-French Treaty of Extradition.

Extradition is an extremely technical process that requires precision and cooperation between two sovereign systems, often different in fundamental legal theory and procedure. An extradition treaty represents an attempt by diplomatic and legal means to establish this process so that the two sovereign states can cooperate in rendering fugitive criminals to one another. It strives to accomplish this goal without seeming to diminish either party’s sovereignty or to bypass or demean either’s institutions, processes, or basic theories of criminal justice.

Publication Citation

13 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 653 (1980).