International Law, UN Convention Against Torture, Cruel Punishment, international fugitives, Article Three, International Extradition, Habeas Protections, Suspension Clause, Habeas Corpus


This Note considers the law underlying the question addressed in Trinidad: can habeas courts review an extraditee’s Article Three claims? In turn, this Note considers how courts should interpret the CAT in the extradition context. Part I explores the important conceptual components of the question posed in Trinidad,including US extradition practice, habeas petitions in extradition proceedings, and the CAT’s implementation in the United States. Building on this, Part II examines competing interpretations of Article Three claims in US courts, highlighting how these claims touch on much deeper issues that remain unsettled by several hundred years of habeas corpus jurisprudence. Finally, Part III posits a simple answer to the straightforward question posed in Trinidad. Neither the CAT, its implementing laws or regulations, nor the United States Constitution allows courts to hear an extraditee’s Article Three claims. Therefore, unless Congress changes the current state of the law, Article Three claims are the exclusive purview of the Secretary.

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