Fri, Nov. 24, 2006

Transfer of Prisoners

CK - Washington.   On November 24, 2006, the second chamber in Berlin, Bundesrat, approved a bill to amend two statutes on the transfer of foreign prisoners to their home countries. The amendments facilitate the return of sentenced persons so that they may resocialize in their home environment and to permit the execution of sentences of convicted persons who flee the jurisdiction.

In the latter case, the sentencing jurisdiction would traditionally request the extradition of the criminal. Such a request would often be futile because many countries do not extradite their nationals. They may be inclined, however, to execute the foreign sentence. One of the new rules would assign the execution of a German sentence to the foreign authority, without requiring the consent of the criminal, for its enforcement in the home country.

The German amendments apply the principle of mutual recognition of judgments in criminal matters and implement the Council of Europe's Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons of December 18, 1997. The convention assures the prisoner that the sentence be executed abroad on terms not worse than in Germany. An English discussion of the framework is found in a recent UK parlimentary report.

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