New publication delves into the histories of transnational criminal law

Prof. Joanna Harrington contributes chapter on modern international extradition law

Staff - 04 August 2021

A new book chapter by the University of Alberta’s Professor Joanna Harrington looks at the making of modern international extradition law for an important collection on the Histories of Transnational Criminal Law, published this month by Oxford University Press.

As Harrington explains, “This work, and the book of which it is a part, embraces a legal history approach to understanding state efforts to combat and cooperate against transnational crime.”

“For me, the value of combining law with history shows how modern extradition law has developed through its interactions with other areas of law, with some of the earliest law on the surrender of fugitives found in peace treaties. Over time, extradition law has evolved through interaction with national legal systems, the law of asylum, and through the growing use of multilateral treaties to counter terrorism and other forms of serious cross-border crime.

“The research also showed that while states have developed a shared set of principles, their strict application has waned over time, leading to greater reliance on non-discrimination clauses and human rights protections. Indeed, history suggests that states are engaged in a perpetual search for reforms to make extradition more efficient and faster, the consequences of which are often challenged on fair trial and fair treatment grounds by the individual facing surrender.”

Edited by Professor Neil Boister of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Professor Sabine Gless of the University of Basel in Switzerland, and Professor Florian Jeßberger of Humboldt University in Germany, the book brings together insights from an international team of experts covering a broad range of topics relevant to transnational crime.

Harrington is a widely cited international law scholar whose published work can be found in leading international and national law journals, as well as highly valued edited collections. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six books, and regularly presents at international conferences, continuing legal education workshops and community events. Her expertise in extradition law has also led to media coverage, including a mention in the New York Times.