Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Dual Criminality Definition:

A typical requirement of extradition treaties: that the conduct alleged constitute a crime in both the demanding and the delivering state.

Related Terms: Extradition, Doctrine of Specialty, Extradition Crime

Also known as the double criminality rule.

In US v Saccoccia, Justice Cynthia Holcomb Hall had written:

"Dual criminality requires that an accused be extradited only if the alleged criminal conduct is considered criminal under the laws of both the surrendering and requesting nations."

In Man-Soek, Justice Alex Kozinki of the United States Court of Appeals noted the terms of the Extradition Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Korea dated June 9, 1998 in writing:

"[T]he Treaty provides that an offense shall be an extraditable offense if it is punishable under the laws of both nations.... This is known as the dual criminality requirement.

"In determining whether Korea has satisfied the dual criminality requirement, we consider the totality of the conduct alleged.

"The primary focus of dual criminality has always been on the conduct charged; the elements of the analogous offenses need not be identical.

"All the principle of dual criminality requires is that the particular acts alleged constitute a crime in both jurisdictions. To satisfy the dual criminality requirement, it is enough that the conduct involved is criminal in both countries."


  • Clarey v. Gregg, 138 F. 3d 764 (1998)
  • Man-Soek Choe v Torres, 525 F. 3d 733 (2009)
  • US v. Saccoccia, 18 F. 3d 795 (1994; see Footnote 6)

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