Book Review: Extradition Law: Reviewing Grounds for Refusal from the Classic Paradigm to Mutual Recognition and Beyond

AuthorStefano Maffei
Date01 September 2021
Publication Date01 September 2021
SubjectBook Reviews
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2021, Vol. 12(3) 494501
© The Author(s) 2021
Article reuse guidelines:
Book Reviews
Extradition Law: Reviewing Grounds for Refusal from the Classic Paradigm to Mutual Recognition and Beyond,
Miguel João Costa (Leiden: Brill-Nijhoff, 2019), ISBN 9789004411210, 654 pp., 225
Reviewed by: Stefano Maffei, University of Parma, Italy
DOI: 10.1177/20322844211003999
The book is a long theoretical study of the process of extradition, its essential objectives, and the
grounds of refusal that are typically invoked to bar it. The author attempts to re-write the
grammarof extradition and to reshape a number of concepts that are central to legal debates
surrounding the evaluation of extradition procedures and their development in the future. Al-
though the book makes a number of references to specif‌ic jurisdictions (such as Portugal and the
UK) and instruments of simplif‌ied surrender (the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) scheme, the
Mercosur warrant in Latin America and the Nordic Arrest Warrant), the book primarily seeks to
make the reader think about the values and principles underpinning extraditioningeneral.Thatin
turn aims to allow the development of a new approach to the most frequently-invoked grounds of
refusal irrespective of specif‌ic jurisdictions.
The book takes as a premise that progress of international cooperation in criminal matters
should be achieved by improving and perfecting the practice of extraditio n, rather than shifting to
other forms of advanced judicial cooperation. It follows that the stated intention of the author is to
assess whether certain grounds of refusal in extradition proceeding should be simplif‌ied and
possibly narrowed. Given this aim, the book focusses on situations where extradition bars would
prevent the assessment of criminal liability (thereby generating impunity), and excludes, in
particular, mere conf‌licts of jurisdictionsin which two or more States f‌ightto prosecute the
same individual, as well as internal rendition (i.e. within a federation).
The book consists of four parts.
In Part 1, the author states the purpose of his work and outlines the concept of extradition. Early
on, the author comes to the problematic conclusion that the main force driving extradition re-
lations among States is an interest in upholding their own criminal systems and that all States have,
in principle, an interest in extraditing. The author seems to look at each legal system as a whole
and thus gives little, if any, attention to the fact that within each State there are multiple driving
forces (courts, constitutional courts, Parliaments, governments) acting at the same time for or
against extradition. The most innovative aspect of Part 1 is a new categorisation of grounds of
refusal that separates grounds for refusal imposed upon States(mandatory) and grounds for refusal
adopted by States without any constraints (voluntary).
Based on these assumptions, Parts 2 and 3 explore grounds of refusal that are imposed upon
States(Part 2) and those that are voluntarily enacted by States(Part 3). In the authorsview,

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