Extradition proceedings form part of the international mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Extradition between Germany and other states is regulated, particularly by the Law on International Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (IRG). In addition, inter-state extradition agreements under international law may be concluded, which are then given priority.
The German extradition procedure is divided into two parts. It consists of the judicial admissibility procedure on the one hand and the official authorisation procedure on the other. The Higher Regional Courts (Oberlandesgerichte) are responsible for the admissibility decision (Section 13 (1) sentence 1 IRG). A unique feature of extradition cases is that no direct appeal can be lodged against the court decision. If the person concerned wants to appeal against a decision of the German Higher Regional Court on admissibility, their only recourse is to file a constitutional complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court.
Following a positive admissibility decision by the Higher Regional Court, the official authorisation is usually granted quickly. The approval decision is an intergovernmental act and a discretionary decision by the competent judicial authority. If the Higher Regional Court has made a positive admissibility decision, a corresponding authorisation will usually follow promptly. However, the judicial authority can also refuse this, for example, for (foreign) political reasons, if the requesting state itself was not prepared to comply with requests from mutual legal assistance in the past. If the grant is refused, the proceedings end. If, on the other hand, the extradition is granted, a binding treaty under international law is created between the two states.