Legal Memorandum: Extradition Treaties for White-Collar Crimes

Issue: What white-collar crimes are subject to extradition treaties between the United States and Costa Rica?

Area of Law: Criminal Law, International Law & Global Trade
Keywords: Extradition treaties; White-collar crimes; US and Costa Rica
Jurisdiction: Federal, International
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Extradition Treaty, U.S.-Costa Rica, art. 1, Dec. 4, 1982, TIAS
Date: 10/01/2007

President Reagan signed the Extradition Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Costa Rica on December 4, 1982.  Under its terms, each nation agreed to extradite any person within its jurisdiction who has been “charged with, are being tried for, or [has] been found guilty of an extraditable offense.”  Extradition Treaty, U.S.-Costa Rica, art. 1, Dec. 4, 1982, TIAS.  Unlike its Mexican counterpart, the U.S.-Costa Rica Treaty declines to enumerate the specific offenses subject to extradition.  Instead, “[a]n offense shall be an extraditable offense if it may be punished under the laws of both Contracting Parties by deprivation of liberty for a maximum period of more than one year or by any greater punishment.”  Id., art 2, cl. 2.  This broad language was inserted by design to permit “extradition for any offense punishable under the laws of both States by imprisonment for more than one year.”  Letter of Submittal from George P. Schultz to Ronald Reagan (Apr. 11, 1984).  Additionally, the Treaty’s language was written “in order to insure that all felonies punishable under the laws of both Contracting Parties are extraditable” and to ensure extradition of all offenses with “an analogous offense under the laws of each Party.”  Letter from Francis J. McNeil to Fernando Volio Jimenez (Dec. 16, 1982).  Furthermore, the Treaty was designed to include “fiscal offenses” among the extraditable offenses.  Id.

As with the U.S.-Mexico Extradition Treaty, neither party is required to extradite its own national to face charges abroad.  Extradition Treaty, […]

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