Extradition is the official, legal process whereby one nation-state transfers a criminal suspect or convict back to his original jurisdiction. Most extradition laws are covered in treaties between nation states. However, not all states have extradition treaties with one another. For example, Venezuela does not have an extradition treaty with the United States. Further, some countries, including China, Brazil, Japan, France and Germany, forbid the extradition of their citizens to other nations.
Extradition laws can also be applied on a state-by-state basis. In the United States, for example, there is clear and concise extradition law regarding the transfer of prisoners from one state to the other. Extradition laws in this case merely serve to spell out safe, correct, and legal transfer of a prisoner from one jurisdiction to the next, as well as the actual physical movement of that person.
Extradition laws fails in the case of the abduction of an individual by a government. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Israel’s 1960 kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann from within Argentina. Eichmann, a notorious Nazi war criminal, was captured by Mossad agents, flown to Israel, and then tried, convicted, and executed. While Eichmann’s capture was a boon for international justice, it caused a tremendous outcry in Argentina, as well as anti-Semitic rioting in that nation.