political-offense exception

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Most countries do not allow for extradition for political crimes, which is known as a political-offense exception. The political-offense exception is a clause that limits a sovereign state's responsibilities under an extradition treaty or legislation. If the requesting party's authority determines that the requesting party seeks assistance to prosecute a political offense, such provisions allow the requested party to refuse to hand over a suspect to or collect evidence on behalf of another state (the requesting party).

The political-offense exception to extradition law is now a standard provision in almost all extradition treaties around the world and is also explicitly provided for in the domestic laws of many countries.

[Last updated in May of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team