Extradition between Germany and Hong Kong

Extradition between Germany and Hong Kong

A threatened extradition to a third country can mean more than the deprivation of liberty itself. In some cases, the persons concerned must also fear for their physical integrity, even their very lives.

Schlun & Elseven is an internationally active law firm specialising, among other things, in representing clients in extradition proceedings. Our extradition lawyers have the necessary expertise and years of experience in dealing with Interpol and the extradition authorities to represent you with competence and commitment during this difficult time.  They assist clients who are to be extradited from or to Germany and take on the defence in all Interpol proceedings to obtain the cancellation of Interpol Red Notices. Germany concluded an extradition treaty with Hong Kong in 2006 so that extraditions can be carried out between these two states in a simplified manner. However, the relationship between China and Hong Kong affects any extradition procedures in Hong Kong. There is a degree of independence from China due to Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region status, but this has decreased in recent years.

In addition to existing doubts about whether persons would be extradited from Hong Kong to China, China’s influence on Hong Kong continued to grow, so that human and civil rights in Hong Kong were and are increasingly restricted. Germany suspended the extradition agreement with Hong Kong in response to China’s interference.

Now that the agreement has been suspended, extradition requests are assessed according to the general requirements of the IRG, the Law on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. However, no extraditions to Hong Kong have taken place for years.

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Removal of a Red Notice from Hong Kong – worldwide

If Hong Kong requests a person’s apprehension and subsequent extradition, the authorities of Hong Kong can easily obtain an Interpol Red Notice for this person. Such a red notice can be challenged as a precautionary measure or only when it becomes known. Our experienced lawyers for extradition law will submit requests for information to the respective National Central Bureaus (NCBs) of Interpol on your behalf, prepare and file corresponding protective letters and work unerringly towards the cancellation of the Red Notice – so that you can once again move freely in the world without worrying about an immanent arrest and the associated consequences and risks.

Extradition Requirements under the IRG

In principle, any foreigner who has committed a criminal offence abroad can be extradited under the IRG, Section 2 III IRG.

Foreigner means any non-German. German citizens are protected from extradition by the constitution. Exceptions are only provided for EU states and international courts under Article 16 II of the German Basic Law.

The offence committed must also be punishable in Germany and by a maximum of at least 1-year imprisonment, according to Section 3 IRG.

An extradition request must be refused if political or personal motives are involved in the request, according to Section 6 IRG. In the case of military breaches of duty, extradition also does not take place, according to Section 7 IRG.

Transfers, onward deliveries and deportations of the person concerned to third countries always require the consent of Germany under Section 11 IRG.

Problems with extradition requests from Hong Kong

If the person concerned is threatened with torture or inhuman or degrading treatment in the requesting state, extradition is inadmissible, Article 3 ECHR.

At least since the enactment of the National Security Act in the summer of 2020, civil as well as human rights have been severely restricted throughout Hong Kong. The law allows the Chinese government to crack down on any activity deemed critical of the Chinese regime. Amnesty International criticises the practice of using the purpose of the law (the protection of national security) as a pretext to systematically restrict freedom of expression and assembly and to suppress dissent and political opposition.

Human Rights Watch speaks of refusals to grant citizens fair trials. There is only a minimum of separation of powers, which means that the rule of law no longer exists in Hong Kong. Violations of the rule of law stand in the way of extradition based on Article 6 of the ECHR, which guarantees every person a fair trial.

The increased interference on the part of China gives rise to the suspicion that the conditions which violate human rights and the ill-treatment on the part of the security personnel also extend or will extend to Hong Kong. Accordingly, Section 8 IRG (inadmissibility of extradition in cases of imminent death penalty) and Article 3 ECHR (prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment) may also stand in the way of extradition to Hong Kong. Just as China keeps case figures and statistics secret, there will also be no official reports on death sentences and torture in Hong Kong.

Country List for Extradition – Worldwide

  • Worldwide advice and representation in extradition and Interpol proceedings with and without reference to Germany

  • Encrypted communication and secure file transfer

  • Worldwide network of experts in international extradition law

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Practice Group: German Extradition & Interpol Law

Practice Group:
Extradition & Interpol Law

Jürgen Klunker

Lawyer | Managing Partner