The Ukranian Crisis: Extradition Of Viktor Yanukovich

1496 words - 6 pages

The Ukrainian crisis was a result of social upheaval against the former president, Mr. Yanukovich, who decided to pull out of the association with the European Union (BBC News, 2014). The upheaval that lasted for about two months resulted in more than 100 people killed (NY Times, 2014). In February 22 Mr. Yanukovich disappears and the opposition takes control over the government in Ukraine (BBC News, 2014). Upon learning that Mr. Yanukovich is currently residing in Kazakhstan, the new government of Ukraine requests from Kazakhstan the extradition of the overthrown president, who is accused of crime against the Ukrainian citizenry.
The aim of the paper is to assess the validity of the extradition request and provide an objective advice on whether should Kazakhstan extradite Mr. Yanukovich or not. In order to reach the final decision, the paper would examine issues like, relevant principle of jurisdiction, relevant treaty, the issue of recognition, immunity and political offence exception
To begin with, the relevant principle of jurisdiction should be examined in order to assess the validity of the extradition request. According to Glahn and Taulbee (2013), “principle of jurisdiction refers to the allocation of legal competence to regulate certain categories of persons, events, and things within a state and among various levels and institutions of government.” (p. 233). The definition implies that there should be an effective link connecting the state claiming jurisdiction and the event that took place. Currently, there are five principles of jurisdiction recognized by the international practice: territory, nationality or active personality, protective personality, passive personality, and universality (Glahn and Taulbee, p. 235). Ukraine would claim territorial and universality principles. Territorial principle of jurisdiction derives from the idea of sovereignty, which claims that every state has an exclusive right to exercise power and enforce rules of conduct within its territory (Glahn and Taulbee, p.236). Mr. Yanukovich is the citizen of Ukraine and the crime took place in the territory of the state. Therefore, Ukraine has a valid request based on the territorial principle of jurisdiction. On the other hand, universality principle does not rely on the effective link between the state and the crime but rather it derives from the idea that certain crimes go against the interests of all nations (Glahn and Taulbee, p. 246). Ukraine would claim that Mr. Yanukovich committed crime against humanity by killing the civilians during the social unrest. Both principles of jurisdiction serve as a valid request for the extradition of Mr. Yanukovich. However, other issues like the evidence of crime, relevant treaty on extradition and sovereign immunity should be discussed in order to reach an objective decision.
As it was mentioned above, the issue that Mr. Yanukovich is accused of committing a crime against humanity plays a decisive role in the request...

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