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28 St. Louis U. L.J. 33 (1984)
The Development of International Law of Extradition

handle is hein.journals/stlulj28 and id is 51 raw text is: THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL LAW OF
EXTRADITION
The history of the practice of extradition dates back to the very
earliest times. It is known that in a treaty between Rameses II of
Egypt and Hattusili III, 1280 B.C., there was a provision relating to
the return of fugitive offenders. Later, the Roman Empire allowed for
extradition as between its various provinces.' Insofar as other indepen-
dent nations dealing with the Roman Empire were concerned, however,
it would seem that extradition was probably confined to enemies of the
State.
The modern history of extradition, and in this context I refer to its
development within the last two centuries, has seen a remarkable
change in the area of extradition for political offenders. It is that topic,
one of peculiar relevance for my country, that I intend to discuss.
Extradition is itself a development from the theory of asylum. In
the ancient Greek city states we have been told that asylum was
granted to everyone, whether his offence might be described as political
or otherwise.3 In the Middle Ages the primary purpose of extradition
treaties was in fact to provide for the punishment of political offenders
who became fugitives and sought to escape punishment by fleeing to
other jurisdictions. It was understandable that this should be the case,
for whilst absolute monarchs might well war with one another, they
maintained a common interest in securing by treaty the arrest and pun-
ishment (in many instances execution) of those who sought to over-
throw their regimes. For example, in 1174 Henry II of England and
William of Scotland concluded a treaty for the surrender of traitors
and felons.'
The features distinguishing the democratic republics of the last
two centuries, in particular the French Republic, from their contempo-
raries in other parts of Europe brought about a changed approach to
the whole question of extradition. Gradually, during the nineteenth
century, the political offence changed from being the extraditable of-
fence par excellence to . . . the nonextraditable offence par excel-
I. See I E. GIBBON, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 52-73
(1946).
2. See E. CLARKE, THE LAW OF EXTRADITION 17 (4th ed. 1903).
3. See 5 J. VERZIJL, INTERNATIONAL LAW IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 269-86
(1972).
4. I. SHEARER, EXTRADITION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW 166 (1971).
5. O'Higgins, The History of Extradition in British Practice, 1174-1794, 13
IND. Y.B. INT'L AFF. 80-81 (1964).

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