Extradition is the process by which one country sends a person that is accused of committing an offence or who has been convicted of an offence to another country to face criminal charges or serve a sentence. While extradition can occur between two states within Australia, it also can occur in between nations. This is obviously a more complicated process as laws can vary greatly in between nations more than states.

Extradition only takes place in countries which Australia has an extradition treaty with. Each treaty has conditions under which Australia will extradite. The treaty ratification process involves the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, which allows parliamentary and public scrutiny to be directed towards possible extradition partners. If a country does not have an extradition treaty, extradition may be refused when the results are considered
‘unjust, oppressive, incompatible with humanitarian considerations or too severe a punishment’. Australia has ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment so that anyone who is returning to a different country will not be subjected to torture.

The federal Attorney-General has the final say on who will be extradited from Australia under the Extradition Act 1988 (Cth). However, the decisions are shared with the Minister for Justice and Customs. A person can be arrested when the Australian Government is able to confirm that the person got arrested from an extradition request made in Australia to the foreign country or when an extradition request was made by a foreign country to Australia. However, the Australia Government does not confirm whether it has made or received an extradition request before the person is arrested as there may be a chance that the media may comment on the possibility of the extradition arrest of someone which may cause that person to flee and avoid arrest.

Extradition is different from deportation as it is a process that countries use to force a person to face criminal charges in another country whereas deportation is a way of removing a person from a country for immigration purposes.