Dual-Criminality Principle Law and Legal Definition

According to the dual-criminality principle a person may be extradited only when his/her actions constitute an offense in both the requesting and requested states.

The mere absence of a potential defense does not establish the absence of dual criminality. Rather than looking merely to the statutory definition of the crime at issue, a court evaluating a question of dual criminality must look towards the conduct of the accused to see if it falls within the proscription of American criminal law.[Pena-Bencosme v. United States Atty's Office (In re Pena-Bencosme), 341 Fed. Appx. 681 (2d Cir. 2009)]

Under the rule of dual criminality, an extraditable offense must be punishable under the criminal laws of both the surrendering and the requesting state. This principle is embodied in the U.S.-U.K Extradition Treaty, Extradition Treaty, U.S.-U.K., June 8, 1972, 28 U.S.T. 227, as follows: Extradition shall be granted for an act or omission the facts of which disclose an offense within any of the descriptions listed in the Schedule annexed to the Treaty, which is an integral part of the Treaty, or any other offense, if: (a) the offense is punishable under the laws of both parties by imprisonment or other form of detention for more than one year or by the death penalty; (b) the offense is extraditable under the law of the United Kingdom; and (c) the offense constitutes a felony under the law of the United States of America. U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty, art. III(1).[United States v. Thomas, 322 Fed. Appx. 177 (3d Cir. Pa. 2009)]