The European Convention on Extradition is a multilateral extradition treaty which entered into force on 13 December 1957 (the European Convention). It was drawn up by the member states of the Council of Europe and remains in force between all of them. The UK acceded to the European Convention in 1990.
The European Convention provides for the extradition between persons wanted for criminal proceedings or for the carrying out of a sentence. It does not apply to political or military offences. With regards to certain fiscal offences, extradition may only be granted if the parties have decided so in respect of such offence or category of offence.
Significantly, the European Convention removed the requirement to provide a prima facie case in extradition matters. Instead, only a description of the offending conduct sufficient to satisfy the test for double criminality is required. This is the principle that a suspect may only be extradited from one country to another to stand trial for breaking a second country’s laws where a similar law exists in the extraditing country.