Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition: Human Rights Implications

China Rights Forum, No. 2, 2007

17 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2009

See all articles by Margaret K. Lewis

Margaret K. Lewis

Seton Hall University - School of Law

Date Written: July 2007


Crime in China has taken on an increasingly transnational dimension. In part this is due to the cross-border nature of certain crimes, such as smuggling and drug trafficking. In other situations, the crimes are committed solely within China but the suspects flee, sometimes with the alleged fruits of the crime in hand. In either case, there is a need for cooperation between Chinese and foreign law enforcement and judicial authorities. This cooperation comes in many forms. China’s Ministry of Justice lists three major avenues for cooperation in criminal matters: 1) bilateral judicial-assistance treaties, 2) multilateral conventions with provisions on judicial assistance and extradition, and 3) cooperation in individual cases with countries that have not concluded a treaty with China. This article focuses on bilateral treaties and their relevance to the protection of human rights, including issues presented by politicized prosecutions, limits on criminal defendants’ access to evidence, and cases where criminal defendants may face the death penalty in China.

Keywords: China, mutual legal assistance, extradition, criminal justice

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Margaret K., Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition: Human Rights Implications (July 2007). China Rights Forum, No. 2, 2007. Available at SSRN:

Margaret K. Lewis (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University - School of Law ( email )

One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States

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