Extradition law in Australia

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Extradition law in Australia is the formal process by which a fugitive found outside a jurisdiction is surrendered to the jurisdiction where an alleged offence has taken place for trial or punishment, under Australian law. This may include a process done within the country or one between Australia and another country.

Interstate extradition[edit]

The power to extradite between and among the states and territories of Australia is conferred by s 51(xxiv) of the Australian Constitution which says that the Commonwealth Parliament shall, subject to the Constitution, have the power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to (inter alia) the service and execution throughout the Commonwealth of the civil and criminal process and the judgements of the courts of the states.

Interstate extradition procedures are governed by the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth), Part 5. Under the Act, a person named in an extradition warrant issued in any State may be arrested in accordance to that warrant in another State.[1] Upon apprehension, that person must be brought before a Magistrate of the State in which they were apprehended along with the warrant or a copy of the warrant.[2] The local jurisdiction has priority in respect of offences in that jurisdiction, so that a person charged or in prison in the jurisdiction must be processed and serve time before interstate extradition.

Extradition to and from Australia[edit]

The Extradition Act 1988[3] governs the extradition to other countries of fugitives found in Australia. The law ratifies a series of treaties to which Australia is a party with other countries, either in the right of the Commonwealth of Australia, by being bound by treaties which the UK executed on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia, or multilateral treaties to which Australia is a signatory.

The absence of an extradition treaty does not, in theory, prevent the arrest or extradition to or from another country e.g. through the London Scheme for Commonwealth member states, or through regulation (eg., Cambodia).[4]

Extradition between Australia and New Zealand is governed by a separate and distinct regime, known as the 'backing of warrants' system.

Map of Countries[edit]

Commonwealth of Australia (shown in purple) has extradition treaties with the countries shown in blue. Light purple indicates a proposal for one has been made.

Countries with which Australia has extradition arrangements[edit]

According to the Attorney-General, Australia has extradition arrangements with the following countries:[4]

Countries with which Australia has proposed extradition agreements[edit]

Country with which Australia is negotiating extradition treaties:


  1. ^ Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth) s 82(1)
  2. ^ ss 83(1) and 83(2)
  3. ^ Extradition Act 1988
  5. ^ Proposed extradition treaty between Australia and Pakistan. Australasian Legal Information Institute (16 March 2000). Retrieved on 3 Jan. 2012.
  6. ^ China-Australia Extradition Treaty Collapses Amid Human Rights Concerns

External links[edit]