Extradition and Life Imprisonment
Cambridge Law Journal, Vol. 69, p. 248, 2009
3 Pages Posted: 22 May 2009
Date Written: May, 18 2009
This brief case note examines the R (Wellington) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKHL 72,  2 W.L.R. 48 case decided by the House of Lords, dealing with the question whether the extradition of a person to a foreign state where he or she is accused of a crime for which a sentence of life imprisonment can be imposed can potentially violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is one of the latest of the non-refoulement line of cases initiated by the European Court of Human Rights famous judgment in Soering v. United Kingdom. The opinions of their Lordships raise several important questions of principle, ranging from the conceptualization of the purpose of criminal punishment, universalist as opposed to relativist notions of human rights, to the pressing need to facilitate extradition in a globalized world. The decision is thus well worth examining.
Keywords: international law, human rights, extradition, life imprisonment, Wellington, Soering, Kafkaris
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