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Italy-Brazil Extradition Treaty: Key Aspects Unveiled

In this article, we delve into the agreement signed between Italy and Brazil concerning the extradition of individuals suspected or accused of crimes and how this treaty regulates extradition in both countries when one of them requests the execution of a sentence or a trial on their own territory.

The Legal Foundation: The 1989 Treaty between Italy and Brazil

To address extradition-related issues, Italy and Brazil signed a treaty in 1989 in Rome, which came into effect in Italy in 1991. This agreement holds significant importance, not only for high-profile cases like the extradition of Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti, which was carried out based on this treaty but also because it is one of the most frequently utilized instruments in the realm of extradition, offering a specific and clear framework.

The Role of International Treaties

On the international stage, the management of sentence execution or even the trial process itself is governed by treaties, agreements established by Italy with other countries. In Europe, issues like these are regulated by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and secondary legislation, such as the European Arrest Warrant. Outside the European Union, individual treaties entered into by Italy with concerned countries address these aspects.

The Principle of Double Punishment

All extradition treaties are based on the principle that a citizen has the right to be judged by their fellow nationals and to serve their sentence in their own country. This principle is also enshrined in the Italian Constitution. Article 23 of the Constitution stipulates that the extradition of a citizen can only be permitted if expressly provided for by international conventions and cannot be granted for political crimes.

What the Italy-Brazil Extradition Treaty Encompasses

Article 1 of the treaty between Italy and Brazil states that both parties commit to delivering individuals sought by the judicial authorities of the other party for ongoing criminal proceedings or the execution of a custodial sentence. This provision outlines the general framework of extradition, excluding cooperation in investigative matters.

Scenarios Where the Treaty Applies

Article 2 of the treaty lists the scenarios in which extradition can be granted. These include offenses punishable by a sentence of not less than one year of imprisonment, following the principle of double punishment. Extradition can also be granted for sentences exceeding 9 months or for residual sentences already served in another country.

Limitations and Exceptions

The treaty establishes various limitations and exceptions to extradition. For instance, it cannot be granted if the requesting country has already initiated criminal proceedings against the individual or if the individual has already received a conviction in the same country. Other limitations include the expiration of the sentence, amnesty for the crime, the political nature of the offense, and the death penalty, which requires convincing evidence that it will not be carried out.

Pretrial Arrest Procedure and the Right to Defense

Article 13 of the treaty provides for the possibility of pretrial arrest requested by the requesting country before the official extradition request. This procedure, known as “provisional arrest,” imposes specific requirements and guarantees, including the right to defense, the presence of legal counsel, and the use of an interpreter if necessary.

The Role of Expert Extradition Attorneys

Given the complexities and implications of such cases, it is crucial to seek assistance from attorneys experienced in Italy-Brazil extraditions. These professionals possess in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and can ensure the full protection of the right to defense while devising an appropriate defense strategy for each specific case.

In conclusion, the Italy-Brazil extradition treaty plays a pivotal role in regulating extradition procedures between the two countries while safeguarding the fundamental rights of the individuals involved.