Extradition on the Two Sides of the Atlantic: The U.S. Model as Blueprint for the European Arrest Warrant?
This article compares the EU’s enhanced extradition model, in the form of the European Arrest Warrant, with the more mature American interstate extradition mechanism. The US Constitution’s Extradition Clause mandates interstate extradition and, after a slow start-up, has led to a smooth and obligatory procedure. In the EU, the European Arrest Warrant, based on the principle of mutual recognition, has made a number of significant changes to traditional extradition and has simplified extradition between EU member states. Yet, it does not operate without problems and the first decade has revealed what the difficulties with extradition on the basis of mutual recognition are. The comparison with the US seeks to draw lessons from the US experience. The main finding is that in a number of areas the US example can direct the EU toward further improving its extradition scheme, while at the same time it is not realistic to expect that the EU will achieve a similar degree of harmony as in the US, required for an obligatory extradition scheme. The article argues that it is important to recognise these limits in order to make the European Arrest Warrant a success.