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Extradition to Jordan: Safeguards against Forced Labor

A Judicial Case Analyzed by the Supreme Court of Cassation

In the context of interpreting Article 705 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, the Supreme Court of Cassation examined a case of extradition to Jordan, issuing a judgment (Section VI n. 24348_2023) worthy of attention.

Case Summary

The defense filed an appeal against a judgment of the Milan Court of Appeal which granted the extradition request made by the Jordanian government against the appellant. The appellant was subject to an international arrest warrant for a three-year sentence of forced labor, found guilty of human trafficking under Jordanian law against trafficking in persons.

Grounds of Appeal

The appeal was based on two main arguments:

  1. Violation of Fundamental Principles: The nature of the punishment the appellant would have to endure in Jordan was contested, highlighting its inconsistency with domestic and international legal systems, particularly Article 4, paragraph 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits forced labor. The precarious health condition of the appellant, incompatible with Jordanian prison conditions, was also emphasized.
  2. Risk to the Life of the Appellant: The risk of death to the appellant in the event of extradition was raised, citing threats received from the Sunni ethnicity, the majority in Jordan, due to the appellant’s belonging to a minority ethnic and religious group.

Decision of the Court of Cassation

The Court of Cassation upheld the first ground of appeal, annulling the judgment and referring the case back to the Milan Court of Appeal for further consideration. However, it rejected the second ground, arguing that the risk of discriminatory or persecutory acts is not in itself sufficient to deny extradition.

Further Insight into the Aspect of Forced Labor

In evaluating the nature of forced labor under Jordanian legislation, it was noted that the Territorial Court deemed work during detention permissible, in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. However, it was emphasized that such labor must be compatible with the fundamental rights of the individual and oriented towards the re-education and social reintegration of the convict.