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NCJ Number: 78467 Find in a Library
Title: Political Offense - Development, Problems, and Changes in Extradition Law - Considering the Decisions of the Swiss Federal Court
Author(s): P Felchlin
Corporate Author: Universitaet Zuerich
Juristische Abteilung
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 347
Sponsoring Agency: Schulthess Polygraphischer
Zurich, Switzerland
Universitaet Zuerich
8006 Zuerich, Switzerland
Sale Source: Schulthess Polygraphischer
Verlag Ag
Language: German
Country: Switzerland
Annotation: The complexity of the concept of the political offense and the development of nonextradition policies for political offenders are explored with special attention to political offenses and extradition in Switzerland.
Abstract: The discussion of the problem of the political offense has its roots and practical significance in extradition law. Political offenders are generally exempted from extradition requirements, but no agreement exists on whether political offenses are to be defined subjectively according to the goals of the offenses or according to the objective characteristics of the offense. The solution seems to lie in the direction of defining as political crimes illegal attacks on the power of the state and its constitutionally defined organization, although not even all such attacks are considered political actions. The book traces the development of the concept of the political offense from the Greeks to modern Europe and discusses theories of both absolute and relative political offenses. Official grounds for nonextradition range from political bias to lack of sufficient public danger and to variations in the concept of what constitutes a criminal act. However, as the discussion shows, exceptions have been made to the nonextradition principle since the 19th century for special circumstance such as war, civil war, political terrorism, and crimes against humanity. In more recent times, resolution of the definition problem has been attempted through international agreements rather than by individual states. Modern European states' views on extradition place them in one of three groups: 1) the German group, which differentiates political and nonpolitical offenses according to objective criteria with no regard for motivation; 2) the Swiss group, which refuses extradition for both absolute and relative political offenses; and 3) the French group, which refuses extradition for offenses with subjective political character or motivation. An extensive catalogue of Swiss extradition cases since 1872 details the Swiss position on extradition. A bibliography and notes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Definitions; International agreements; International extradition; International law; Political offender nonextradition; Political offenders; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Switzerland
Note: Zuercher Studien zum Strafrecht (Zuerich Studies in Corrections) no. 3.
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