Chapter

Extradition, the Right to Life, and the Prohibition Against Cruel and Inhuman Punishment and Treatment

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262350.003.0044
Extradition, the Right to Life, and the Prohibition Against Cruel and Inhuman Punishment and Treatment

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In recent years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) have each been faced with a common problem: the legality under their respective human rights instruments of the extradition of a person from a state party (which had abolished the death penalty) to a non-party state which retained the death penalty. There have been some striking similarities, and some notable differences, in the jurisprudence that has emerged. On July 7, 1989, the ECHR delivered its judgment in the Soering Case. Jens Soering, a German national who escaped to the United Kingdom after being charged with murder in Virginia, was the subject of extradition requests from the United States and Germany. The Committee on Human Rights, dealing with similar facts, later found more problematic the existence of a right to life issue. It was not able to dismiss it as readily as the European Court. For the Committee, the right to life was at the heart of the legal considerations it faced.

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights; Committee on Human Rights; Jens Soering; extradition; death penalty; United States; Germany; United Kingdom; right to life

Chapter.  5453 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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