Open main menu

International review of criminal policy - Nos. 43 and 44/Transfer of proceedings in criminal matters

F. Transfer of proceedings in criminal matters

279. As mentioned above, the exercise of jurisdiction in transborder cases involves the possibility of competing claims, which may eventually lead to multiple prosecutions and bring about friction between States. The technique of transfer of proceedings offers a rather effective mechanism to solve this problem in a harmonious way. By creating agreements by which one State can waive its jurisdiction rights on favour of another State, conflicting claims can be resolved. The reason for such an initiative, beyond avoidance of jurisdictional conflicts, are the effective administration of penal justice, the interests of the victim and the reintegration of the offender into society. In case where multiple proceedings are pending in two or more States, a provision can be made for compulsory consultation to reach a settlement.

280. Few conventions of this type are force today. The European Convention for the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters (1972), for example received a limited number of ratifications. However, the United Nations Model Treaty on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters (General Assembly resolution 45/118, annex) represents an excellent basis for more effective international cooperation and deserves greater attention. The basic issues, e.g. the issues of double criminality and non bis in idem, remain similar to those in the other cooperation techniques, but again, any problems can be overcome. In the interests of the administration of criminal justice, which includes effective truth-finding and locating the most important or best items of evidence, agreements in this field may very well solve recurring, conflicting claims of jurisdiction while serving the interests of efficiency.

This work is excerpted from an official document of the United Nations. The policy of this organisation is to keep most of its documents in the public domain in order to disseminate "as widely as possible the ideas (contained) in the United Nations Publications".

Pursuant to UN Administrative Instruction ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 available in English only, these documents are in the public domain worldwide:

  1. Official records (proceedings of conferences, verbatim and summary records, ...)
  2. United Nations documents issued with a UN symbol
  3. Public information material designed primarily to inform the public about United Nations activities (not including public information material that is offered for sale).