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Massive Changes to Singapore’s Extradition Laws

    Singapore – On Monday, the Singaporean Parliament passed a Bill with numerous changes to the extradition laws, including how to determine if an offence makes someone liable for extradition.

     The Extradition Act has remained generally unchanged since it was introduced in 1968. These changes are mainly an update to existing laws while taking into account developments in international practice.

    “With these amendments, Singapore will enhance its ability to combat crime through international cooperation,” said Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong.

    Under this new approach that has been made, an offence will be extraditable if it leads to a maximum punishment of more than two years in jail, except for certain ones that are excluded.

    More restrictions on surrendering a requested fugitive have been added as well. Such as in cases where the fugitive only has a short imprisonment term (less than six months) remaining.

    A further restriction is when the escaper cannot be prosecuted in the other jurisdiction, owing to the timeframe in which legal action can be brought.

    Moreover, fugitives might consent to their extradition and waive extradition proceedings.

    “This saves State resources, and prevents the fugitive from being detained longer than necessary in Singapore as there is no need for a full extradition hearing to be carried out,” Mr. Tong added.

    Moreover, Mr. Tong has shown and declared Singapore’s willingness in looking at countries that have a common desire to work with his country to bolster international collaboration on the apprehension of criminals and consolidate bilateral cooperation in coping with crime.

    Article by: Alessia Donzello

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