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International Cooperation to Combat Transnational Organized Crime -- With Special Emphasis on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition (From UNAFEI Annual Report for 1999 and Resource Material Series No. 57, P 166-172, 2000)

NCJ Number
Ahmad Farooq
Date Published
September 2001
7 pages
This article discusses mutual legal assistance and extradition in combating transnational organized crime.
There is rapid growth and geographical extension of organized crime that has become a threat to the security of international society and undermines human rights and fundamental social values. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 1994 emphasizing the need for improved international cooperation at all levels for more effective mutual assistance between the states in the fight against organized transnational crime. Extradition is an act of international legal help and cooperation for the purpose of suppressing criminal activities by handing over an individual accused or convicted of a criminal offense by one state to another. This practice originated in early nonwestern civilizations such as Egypt and China. International law imposed a definite legal duty on the state to extradite persons accused of serious crimes. Reciprocity is one of the legal bases for extradition in the absence of a treaty that is a part of international principles of friendly cooperation amongst nations. Double criminality refers to the characterization of the relater’s criminal conduct in so far as it constitutes an offense under the laws of the two respective states. Extraditable offenses are offenses that are punishable under the laws of both parties. The doctrine of specialty embodies theory in international law that compels the requesting state to prosecute the extradited individual upon only those offenses for which the requested country granted extradition. The United Nations (UN) adopted the Model Treaty on Extradition and the Model Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, which serves as an important basis for the national legislation of U.N. principal countries. Pakistan has the Extradition Act of 1972. The magisterial inquiry in Pakistan is conducted only to find out a prima facie case and the same cannot be regarded as a regular trial by a court of law. The National Accountability Bureau Ordinance of 1999 envisages international cooperation and requests for mutual legal assistance.