Extradition Process for Criminal Matters in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has established a comprehensive legal framework for extradition in criminal matters, which facilitates international cooperation in combating transnational crimes. Extradition is a formal process by which one country transfers an accused or convicted individual to another country for prosecution or serving a sentence. In the UAE, this process is governed by bilateral and multilateral treaties, as well as domestic laws, ensuring that it is conducted in a fair, transparent, and efficient manner. The extradition process in the UAE involves several stages, including the submission of a formal request, legal review, and judicial proceedings, all of which are designed to uphold the principles of due process and respect for human rights.

What is the Extradition Process in the UAE?

The UAE has an established extradition process to transfer accused or convicted individuals to other countries for prosecution or serving sentences related to criminal offenses. This formal legal mechanism ensures:

  • Transparency
  • Due process
  • Protection of human rights

The key legal framework includes:

  • Federal Law No. 39 of 2006 on International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters
  • Bilateral extradition treaties with countries like the UK, France, India, and Pakistan (take precedence over domestic laws)

The process typically involves:

  1. A formal request submitted through diplomatic channels by the requesting country, with relevant evidence and legal documents.
  2. Thorough review by UAE authorities (Ministry of Justice, Public Prosecution) to ensure:
    • Meeting legal requirements
    • Compliance with UAE laws
    • Adherence to international human rights standards
    • Alignment with any applicable extradition treaties
  3. If deemed valid, the case proceeds to UAE courts, where:
    • The accused has the right to legal representation
    • They can challenge the extradition request
    • Courts examine evidence, charges, and potential consequences for fairness and due process
  4. If approved after exhausting legal avenues, the individual is surrendered to the requesting country’s authorities.

Notable Points:

  • UAE has successfully extradited over 700 individuals, showcasing commitment to combating transnational crimes while upholding rule of law.
  • Extradition may be denied in certain cases, such as:
    • Political offenses
    • Potential death penalties without assurances
    • Military crimes
    • Expired statute of limitations under UAE law
  • UAE may seek assurances on fair treatment, humane conditions, and human rights protection during proceedings and imprisonment.

What is the Role of Interpol in the UAE’s Extradition Process?

Interpol is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1923, with 194 member countries. Its major purpose is providing a platform for global police cooperation to combat crime worldwide. Interpol connects and coordinates a network of police and crime experts across member states through National Central Bureaus operated by national law enforcement. It aids in criminal investigations, forensic analysis, and tracking fugitives through its extensive real-time databases on criminals. The organization supports member countries in fighting cybercrime, organized crime, terrorism, and evolving criminal threats.

It plays a vital role in facilitating the UAE’s extradition process with other countries worldwide. As an intergovernmental organization enabling international police cooperation, Interpol acts as a crucial link for extraditing fugitives across borders.

UAE law enforcement extensively utilizes Interpol’s systems and databases when pursuing extradition. The Interpol Notice System allows disseminating information about wanted individuals, with Red Notices issued for provisional arrest aimed at extradition. Interpol’s secure communications network enables efficiently transmitting extradition requests, evidence, and information to relevant authorities.

Moreover, Interpol provides legal and technical expertise, offering guidance on navigating jurisdictional complexities, ensuring compliance with laws and treaties, and upholding human rights standards during proceedings. However, while Interpol facilitates cooperation, extradition decisions are ultimately made by competent national authorities based on respective laws and agreements.

Which Countries does the UAE have Extradition Treaties with?

The UAE has a robust network of multilateral and bilateral agreements that facilitate the extradition process for criminal matters with countries around the world. These treaties and conventions establish a legal framework for international cooperation and outline specific procedures to ensure a fair and transparent extradition process.

On the multilateral front, the UAE is a signatory to the Riyadh Arab Convention on Judicial Cooperation. This treaty focuses on enhancing cooperation among Arab nations, including Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and others, by facilitating the extradition of individuals accused or convicted of criminal offenses within the member states.

Additionally, the UAE has entered into several bilateral extradition treaties with various countries, each tailored to address the unique legal and procedural requirements of the respective nations. Notable examples include:

  1. United Kingdom: This agreement allows for the extradition of individuals between the UAE and the UK for serious crimes, ensuring effective cooperation in combating transnational offenses.
  2. France: Similar to the UK treaty, this bilateral agreement facilitates the extradition of individuals accused or convicted of serious offenses committed in either country.
  3. India: Focusing on the transfer of prisoners, this treaty enables the UAE and India to cooperate in handing over individuals serving sentences for crimes committed within their respective jurisdictions.
  4. Pakistan: This agreement outlines the processes and procedures for extradition between the UAE and Pakistan, ensuring cooperation in handing over individuals accused of serious crimes.

The UAE has also signed similar bilateral extradition treaties with numerous other countries, such as Iran, Australia, China, Egypt, and Tajikistan, further strengthening its global network of cooperation in criminal matters.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)Saudi Arabia
Middle East & North AfricaEgypt, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Sudan
South AsiaIndia, Pakistan, Afghanistan
East AsiaChina
EuropeUnited Kingdom, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Spain, Netherlands

Through these multilateral and bilateral agreements, the UAE reinforces its commitment to combating transnational crimes, upholding the rule of law, and fostering international cooperation in the administration of justice.

How does Extradition differ with/without UAE Treaties?

AspectWith UAE Extradition TreatyWithout UAE Extradition Treaty
Legal BasisClearly defined legal framework and obligationsAbsence of a formal legal basis
ProceduresEstablished procedures and timelinesAd-hoc procedures, potential delays
Extraditable OffensesSpecific offenses covered by the treatyAmbiguity regarding extraditable offenses
Evidentiary RequirementsClear guidelines on required evidenceUncertainty regarding evidence needed
Human Rights SafeguardsExplicit safeguards for due process and human rightsPotential concerns over human rights protection
ReciprocityMutual obligation to cooperate on extradition requestsNo reciprocal obligation, discretionary decisions
Diplomatic ChannelsPredetermined diplomatic channels for cooperationNeed to establish ad-hoc diplomatic cooperation
Dispute ResolutionMechanisms to resolve disputes or disagreementsLack of formal dispute resolution mechanisms
Legal ChallengesReduced legal challenges and complicationsPotential for legal disputes and challenges
TimelinesDefined timelines for various stagesNo predetermined timelines, potential delays

What are the Conditions and Requirements for Extradition in UAE?

Several conditions must be met for an extradition request to be considered by the UAE courts:

  1. Existence of an extradition treaty or agreement with the requesting country.
  2. The offense must be considered a criminal offense in both the UAE and the requesting country (dual criminality).
  3. The offense must be punishable by at least one year of imprisonment.
  4. The offense must be considered sufficiently serious, typically excluding minor offenses.
  5. Political and military offenses are generally excluded.
  6. The offense must not have exceeded the statute of limitations.
  7. Human rights considerations, such as the risk of torture or inhumane treatment in the requesting country.
  8. UAE nationals are typically not extradited, but non-UAE nationals may be.
  9. Assurances may be required if the offense carries the death penalty in the requesting country.
  10. Extradition requests are subject to legal compliance and are assessed individually.
  11. The requesting country must cover the extradition costs unless exceptional costs are expected.

What Crimes Can You Be Extradited For In The UAE?

The United Arab Emirates considers extradition for a range of serious criminal offenses that violate its laws as well as the laws of the requesting country. Extradition is typically sought for severe crimes rather than minor offenses or misdemeanors. The following listicle outlines some of the major categories of crimes that can potentially result in extradition proceedings from the UAE:

  1. Serious Violent Crimes
    • Homicide/Murder
    • Terrorism
    • Armed Robbery
    • Kidnapping
  2. Financial Crimes
    • Money Laundering
    • Fraud
    • Embezzlement
    • Corruption
  3. Drug-Related Offenses
    • Drug Trafficking
    • Drug Possession (for significant quantities)
  4. Human Trafficking and Smuggling
  5. Cybercrime
    • Hacking
    • Online Fraud
    • Cyberstalking
  6. Environmental Crimes
    • Wildlife Trafficking
    • Illegal Trade in Protected Species
  7. Intellectual Property Violations
    • Counterfeiting
    • Copyright Infringement (significant cases)

Generally, extradition applies to crimes considered severe or felonies rather than minor offenses or misdemeanors. Political and military crimes are typically excluded grounds for extradition from the UAE.

operating model interpol

Image Credit: interpol.int/en

How does Interpol’s Red Notice aid Extradition in UAE?

A Red Notice is a lookout notice and a request to international law enforcement worldwide to carry out a provisional arrest on an alleged criminal. It is issued by Interpol at the request of a member country where the crime was committed, not necessarily the suspect’s home country. The issuance of Red Notices is handled with utmost importance across countries, as it implies the suspect poses a threat to public security.

UAE authorities can request Interpol to issue a Red Notice against a fugitive they seek to extradite. This sets in motion the international process to locate and provisionally arrest the individual pending extradition or legal action. Once issued, the Red Notice is circulated to Interpol’s 195 member countries, alerting law enforcement agencies worldwide. This facilitates cooperation in locating and provisionally arresting the fugitive.

These Notices provide a secure channel for UAE authorities to share information on charges, evidence, and judicial decisions. This information aids the extradition process once the individual is located and arrested. It can simplify legal procedures for the UAE by serving as a basis for provisional arrest and extradition proceedings. However, it is not an international arrest warrant, and each country decides the legal value it places on a Red Notice.

Interpol’s global network enables close cooperation between UAE law enforcement and other countries’ agencies. This cooperation is crucial in locating fugitives, gathering evidence, and executing extradition requests. While a Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, it is a powerful tool that aids the UAE in initiating and facilitating extradition processes through international cooperation, information sharing, and provisional arrests of alleged criminals worldwide.

types of interpol notice

Image Credit: interpol.int/en

Types of Interpol Notice

  • Orange: When an individual or event poses a threat to public safety, the host country issues an orange notice. They also provide whatever information they have on the event or on the suspect. And it is the responsibility of that country to warn Interpol that such an event is likely to occur based on the information they have.
  • Blue: This notice is used to search for a suspect whose whereabouts are unknown. The other member states in Interpol conduct searches till the person is found and the issuing state is informed. An extradition can then be effected.
  • Yellow: Similar to the blue notice, the yellow notice is used to locate missing persons. However, unlike the blue notice, this is not for criminal suspects but for people, usually minors who cannot be found. It is also for persons who are unable to identify themselves due to mental illness.
  • Red: The red notice means that there was a severe crime committed and the suspect is a dangerous criminal. It instructs whichever country the suspect is in to keep an eye on that person and to pursue and arrest the suspect till the extradition is effected.
  • Green: This notice is very similar to the red notice with similar documentation and processing. The main difference is that the green notice is for less severe crimes.
  • Black: The black notice is for unidentified corpses who are not citizens of the country. The notice is issued so that any seeking country will know that the dead body is in that country.
  • Purple: Provides information on methods of operations used by criminals, which may also include objects, devices, or concealment methods.
  • INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notice: Issued for individuals or entities that are subject to UN Security Council sanctions.
  • Children Notification: When there is a missing child or children, the country issues a notice through Interpol so that other countries can join in the search.

The red notice is the most severe of all the notices and issuance can cause ripple effects among nations of the world. It shows that the person is a threat to public safety and should be handled as such. The goal of a red notice is usually an arrest and extradition.

How to remove an Interpol Red Notice

Removing an Interpol Red Notice in the UAE typically requires following a formal procedure and providing compelling grounds for its removal. Here are the general steps involved:

  1. Seek Legal Assistance: It is advisable to engage the services of a qualified lawyer with expertise in handling Interpol Red Notice cases. Their knowledge of Interpol’s complex regulations and procedures can guide you effectively through the process.
  2. Gather Relevant Information: Collect all relevant information and evidence to support your case for the removal of the Red Notice. This may include challenging the validity of the notice based on procedural errors or lack of substantial grounds.
  3. Direct Communication: Your legal counsel can initiate direct communication with the judicial authorities of the country that issued the Red Notice, requesting them to withdraw the accusation. This involves presenting your case and providing evidence to support the request for removal.
  4. Contact Interpol: If direct communication with the issuing country is unsuccessful, your lawyer can contact Interpol directly to request the removal of the Red Notice. They will need to submit a comprehensive request along with supporting evidence and arguments for the annulment.
  5. Proceedings with the CCF: In certain cases, it may be necessary to engage with the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF). The CCF is an independent body that assesses the validity of arguments raised in deletion requests. The proceedings can be complex and time-consuming, conducted in accordance with Interpol’s Rules on the Processing of Data (RPD).

It is crucial to note that the process of removing an Interpol Red Notice can be intricate and requires expert legal guidance. The specific steps and requirements may vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case. A skilled legal representative can navigate the complexities and present the strongest possible case for the removal of the Red Notice.

How long does it take to remove an Interpol Red Notice?

The time it takes to remove an Interpol Red Notice can vary significantly, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the complexity of the legal proceedings involved. In general, the process can take anywhere from several months to over a year or more.

If the request for removal is made directly to the country that issued the Red Notice, and they agree to withdraw it, the process may be relatively swift, taking a few months at most. However, if the issuing country refuses to withdraw the notice, the process becomes more complicated and time-consuming. Engaging with Interpol’s Commission for the Control of Files (CCF) can add several months to the timeline, as their review process is thorough and involves multiple stages. Additionally, if appeals or legal challenges are required, the process can further prolong, potentially taking over a year or longer to resolve.

Can Interpol directly arrest individuals in the UAE for Extradition Purposes?

No, Interpol does not have the authority to directly arrest individuals in the UAE or any other country for extradition purposes. Interpol is an intergovernmental organization that facilitates international police cooperation and operates as a channel for sharing information and intelligence between law enforcement agencies across the globe.

However, Interpol does not possess any supranational powers or its own agents to carry out arrests or other enforcement actions. The execution of arrests, detentions, and extraditions falls under the jurisdiction and legal processes of national law enforcement authorities in each member country, such as the UAE. Interpol’s role is limited to issuing notices, such as Red Notices, which serve as international alerts and requests for the provisional arrest of wanted individuals. It is then up to the national authorities in the UAE to act upon these notices according to their domestic laws and international treaties.

Contact An International Criminal Defense Lawyer In The UAE

Legal cases involving red notices in the UAE should be treated with utmost care and expertise. They require lawyers with vast experience on the subject. A regular criminal defense lawyer may not have the necessary skill and experience to handle such matters. Call us now for an urgent appointment at +971506531334 +971558018669

Fortunately, the international criminal defense lawyers at Amal Khamis Advocates & Legal Consultants have precisely what it takes. We are committed to ensuring that our clients’ rights are not infringed on for any reason. We are ready to stand up for our clients and protect them. We provide you with the best representation in international criminal cases specializing in Red Notice matters. 

Our specialization includes but not limited to: Our specialization includes: International Criminal Law, Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance, Judicial Assistance, and International Law.

So if you or a loved one has a red notice issued against them, we can help. Get in touch with us today!

Call us now for an urgent appointment at +971506531334 +971558018669

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