المقالات القانونية / القانون الجنائي


Know more about the extradition laws of British Nationals in the UAE

criminal law

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May 19, 2021


An extradition request can be understood as an action wherein one sovereign jurisdiction delivers a person either acquitted or convicted of an international crime to the law enforcement of another jurisdiction upon their official request. Compliance with an extradition request involves transferring the physical custody of the accused person to the legal authority of the requesting jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction that makes the extradition request is known as the “requesting state,” and the jurisdiction to which the extradition request has been placed is called the “requested state”. Extradition law in itself is a cooperative law and much depends on international covenants, regional or bilateral treaties entered into between the nations, and routine procedures followed for extradition. In the absence of a specific extradition treaty, another sovereign nation cannot be forced to comply with the extradition request. However, in the light of increasing international crimes majority of countries have entered into international treaties to support extradition procedures. Hence, in the instances wherein extradition is being allowed, the procedures can be broadly explained as follows, the requested jurisdiction conduct a search for the requested fugitive, and if the fugitive is found within the territory of the requested jurisdiction, then arrest is proceeded with and the next steps for extradition is initiated. All the procedures that apply to the extradition occur generally as per the law and practice of the requested state.

More about the extradition process in the UAE:

The extradition process generally comprises of the following steps:

The requesting jurisdiction submits its request through the Attorney General to the Ministry of justice for the requesting jurisdiction. Once such request is received, the Ministry of justice would proceed to send the request to the Ministry of foreign affairs (MOFA) of the requesting jurisdiction, which will then proceed to transfer the request to the respective embassy of the requesting jurisdiction located in the capital of the requested jurisdiction. From the embassy, further steps of communication are initiated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the requested jurisdiction, which would then finally transfer the request to the Ministry of Justice for the requested jurisdiction.

The UAE has issued federal law no. 39 of 2006 on the ‘Mutual judicial cooperation in criminal matters’ (Extradition law). In addition, the UAE is a signatory of the Riyadh Arab Convention on Judicial cooperation before the countries of Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. UAE has entered into bilateral treaties for judicial cooperation with United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, Iran, Australia, China, Egypt, Kazakhstan etc.

Article 7 of the said Extradition law puts forward the ground upon which an extradition request is accepted in the UAE, and it includes:

The surrender of requested persons is conditional upon:
  1. The crime for which the surrender is requested must be penalized by the Law of the requesting State to an imprisonment of at least one year or any other greater penalty.
  2. The act for which the surrender is requested must constitute; in the territories of the State, a crime penalized by an imprisonment of at least one year or any other greater penalty.
  3. If the request for surrender is related to the service of a sentence of imprisonment rendered in any of the crimes for which the surrender is requested, the remaining period of the sentence to be served must not be less than six months in order for the surrender to be performed.
  4. Shall have no effect on the determination whether the act for which the surrender of a person is requested constitutes a penalized crime in the Laws of the two States, that the crime be mentioned under a different name or description or should their elements differ from each other.


The extradition process in the UAE allows for a challenge to be put forward for extradition by making the request through the following entities as per the order of authority and procedure: The local law enforcement authorities, Public prosecution office, the court of appeals, the Cassation Courts, the Ministry of Justice.

Pursuant to the extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and the UAE:

Article 4(1) of the said extradition treaty states the grounds upon which an extradition request can be refused, and this includes:

Article 4: Grounds for refusal of extradition Extradition shall not be granted under this Treaty in any of the following cases:
  1. If the Requested Party has substantial grounds for believing that the request for extradition has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on account of that person’s race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political opinions, sex or status.
  2. If the person sought has been tried and convicted or acquitted by a final judgement in either State or in a third state of the offence for which extradition is requested.
  3. When the prosecution of the person sought would be barred by lapse of time under the domestic law of the Requested Party. (d) If the offence for which extradition has been requested is a military offence and not also an offence under ordinary domestic criminal law.
  4. Where extradition would breach the person’s human rights in accordance with the domestic law of the Requested Party.
  5. If the person has been convicted in absentia, unless an assurance is provided that the person will be entitled to a retrial or appeal amounting to retrial under the domestic law of the Requesting Party.
  6. Where extradition is barred for any other reason under the domestic law of the Requested Party.
  7. According to uae Law if there is contradiction between the signed treaty and the uae extradition laws then the treaty should be the one to supersedes the local laws.

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