criminal law


August 27, 2014



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What are the conditions for the extradition of a requested person?

The conditions which have to be satisfied for extraditing a person who has been requested by a country have been set out in Article 7 of the Federal Law No. 39 of 2006 on International Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (Judicial Co-operation Law). In the event of an existing treaty or convention between the UAE and the other country, such treaty or convention will apply instead to the Judicial Co-operation Law.

Article 7 states that the surrender of a requested person is conditional upon:

  1. The crime for which extradition is requested is penalised by the law of the requesting country for at least a year.
  2. the act for which the surrender is requested must constitute a crime that is penalised by imprisonment of at least one year under the UAE laws.
  3. If the request relates to serving a sentence for the crimes for which extradition is requested, the remaining period of sentence to be served should not be less than six months.

What happens when the suspect is arrested?

Once the suspect has been arrested in the UAE, he must be produced before the Public Prosecution within 48 hours of his arrest. The Public Prosecution must inform him of the reason for arrest, the content of the request for surrender, the existing evidence, documents related to the request.

The arrested person may be released on a financial or personal guarantee. However, the payment of the security deposit does not mean that investigation will not continue against the suspect, it only allows the suspect to be released from custody to prison.

The public prosecution will refer the extradition request to the competent court within 15 days of its examination with a memorandum containing its recommendation. The competent court will examine the request for surrender in a closed session in the presence of the public prosecution, the requested person and his attorney if any. The court will decide on the request after hearing the public prosecution and the defence.

The requested person may agree to give his consent for extradition. In this case, the court will ascertain from the capacity and awareness of the result of his consent to be extradited, provided that his consent is explicit and written.

The decision of the court

The competent court will determine the possibility of the extradition in compliance with the law and its decision will be justified. If the court refuses to extradite the requested person, it will lead to an immediate release of the requested person even if there is no indication in this regard in the decision.

The decision of the court may be challenged by the public prosecution and the requested person within 30 days from the date of issuance of the decision of the court (if it is rendered in the presence of the parties) and from the date of notification to the requested person (if it is rendered in his absence).

Where the requesting country provides incomplete documents

Under Article 11 of the Judicial Co-operation Law, a request for extradition has to be submitted in writing through diplomatic channels, with all information and documents translated into Arabic and officially ratified by the competent authorities.

The information and documents required are:

  1. Name and descriptions of the requested person, his photos; if existing, with any other information of use in the specification of his identity, nationality and place of domicile.
  2. Copy of the legal text which applies to the crime and the prescribed penalty in the requesting country.
  3. An official copy of the investigation statement of offence and the warrant of arrest issued from the competent foreign judicial authority in which indicated the type of crime, the acts attributed to the requested person, date and place of its commitment if the request concerning a person subject of an ongoing investigation.
  4. An official copy of the judgment of conviction which is indicated the type of crime, the acts attributed to the requested person and the rendered penalty and whatever indicates that the judgment is enforceable if the request is related to a convicted person.

If the submitted information and documents supporting the request are insufficient for determination, it may request from the requesting country any clarifications or additional information of documents within a fixed period.

Practically, where incomplete documents are received by the requesting country, the head of Public Prosecution usually refers the matter to the court with a letter recommending not to accept the request made by the country due to incomplete documents.

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