Belgian-American Diplomacy - Extradition Convention : June 13, 1882(1)
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Concluded June 13, 1882;
Ratification advised by the Senate August 8, 1882;
Ratified by the President November 16, 1882;
Ratifications exchanged November 18, 1882;
Proclaimed November 20, 1882.

The United States of America and his Majesty the King of the Belgians, having judged it expedient with a view to the better administration of Justice and the prevention of crime within their respective territories and jurisdictions, that persons charged with convicted of the crimes and offences hereinafter enumerated, or being fugitives from justice, should, under certain circumstances, reciprocally delivered up, have resolved to conclude a new Convention for that purpose, and have appointed, as their Plenipotentiaries: President of the United States, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State of the United States; and His Majesty the King of the Belgians, Mr. Theodore de Bounder de Melsbroeck, Commander of His Order of Leopold, etc., etc., His Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near the Government of the United States who, after having communicated to each other their respecting full powers found in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:


The Government of the United States and the Government of Belgium, mutually agree to deliver up persons who, having been charged, as principals or accessories, with or convicted of the crimes and offences specified in the following article, committed within the jurisdiction of one of the contracting parties, shall seek an asylum, or be found within the territories of the other: Provided that this shall only be done upon such evidence of criminality, according to the laws of the place where the fugitive or person charged shall be found, would justify his or her apprehension a commitment for trial if the crime had been there committed.


Persons shall be delivered up who shall have been convicted of be charged, according to the provisions of this convention, with any of the following crimes:

1. Murder, comprehending the crimes designated in the Belgian penal code by the terms of parricide, assassination, poisoning and infanticide.

2. The, attempt to commit murder.

3. Rape, or attempt to commit rape. Bigamy. Abortion.

4. Arson.

5. Piracy or mutiny on shipboard whenever the crew, or part thereof shall have taken possession of the vessel by fraud or by violence against the commander.

6 The crime of burglary, defined to be the act of breaking and entering by night into the house of another with the intent to commit felony, and the crime of robbery, defined to be the act of feloniously. and forcibly taking from the person of another money or goods by violence or putting him in fear; and the corresponding crimes punished by the Belgian laws under the description of thefts committed in an inhabited house by night, and by breaking in by climbing or forcibly, and thefts committed with violence or by means of threats.

7. The crime of forgery, by which is understood the utterance of forged papers, and also the counterfeiting of public, sovereign or governmental acts.

8. The fabrication or circulation of counterfeit money, either coin or paper, or of counterfeit public bonds, coupons of the public debt, bank-notes, obligations, or in general, anything being a title or instrument of credit; the counterfeiting of seals and dies, impressions, stamps and marks of state and public administrations, and the utterance thereof.

9. The embezzlement of public moneys committed within the jurisdiction of either party by public officers or depositaries.

10. Embezzlement by any person or persons, hired or salaried, to the detriment of their employers, when the crime is subject to punishment by the laws of the place where it was committed.

11. Wilful and unlawful destruction or obstruction of railroads which endangers human life.

12. Reception of articles obtained by means of one of the crimes or offences provided for by the present convention.

Extradition may also be granted for the attempt to commit, any of the crimes above enumerated when such attempt is punishable by the laws of both contracting parties.


A person surrendered under this conviction, shall not be tried or punished in the country to which his extradition has been granted, nor given up to a third power for a crime or offence, not provided for by the present convention and committed previously to his extradition, until he shall have been allowed one month to leave the country after having been discharged; and, if he, shall have been tried and condemned to punishment, he shall be allowed one-month after having suffered his penalty or having been pardoned.

He shall moreover not be tried or punished for any crime or offence provided for by this convention committed previous to his extradition other than that which gave rise to the extradition, without the consent of the Government which surrendered him, which may, if it think proper, require the production of one, of the documents mentioned in Article 7 of this convention.

The consent of that Government shall likewise be required for the extradition of the accused to a third country; nevertheless such consent shall not be necessary when the accused shall have asked of his own accord to be tried or to undergo his punishment, or when he shall not have left within the space of time above specified the territory of the country to which he has been surrendered.


The provisions of this convention shall not be applicable to persons guilty of any political crime or offence or of one connected with such a crime or offence. A person who has been surrendered on account of one of the common crimes or offences mentioned in Article II shall consequently in no case be prosecuted and punished in the state to which his extradition has been granted on account of a political crime or offence committed by him previously to his extradition on account of an act connected with such a political crime or offence unless he has been at liberty to leave the country for one month after having been tried and, in case of condemnation, for one month after having suffered his punishment or having been pardoned.

An attempt against the life of the head of a foreign government or against that of any member of his family when such attempt comprises the act either of murder or assassination, or of poisoning, shall not be considered a political offence or an act connected with such offence.


Neither of the contracting parties shall be bound to deliver up its own citizens or subjects under the stipulations of this convention.


If the person whose surrender may be claimed pursuant to the stipulations of the present treaty shall have been arrested for the commission of offences in the country where he has sought an asylum or shall have been convicted thereof, his extradition may be deferred until he shall have been acquitted, or have served the term of imprisonment to which he may have been sentenced.


Requisitions for the surrender of fugitives from justice shall made by the respective diplomatic agents of the contracting parties or, in the event of the absence of these from the country or its seat of government, they may be made by superior consular officers.

If the person whose extradition may be asked for shall have bee convicted of a crime or offence, a copy of the sentence of the court in which he may have been convicted, authenticated under its seal, an attestation of the official character of the judge by the proper executive authority, and of the latter by the minister or consul of the United States or of Belgium, respectively, shall accompany the requisition. When, however, the fugitive shall have been merely charged with crime, a duly authenticated copy of the warrant for his arrest in the country where the crime may have been committed and of the depositions upon which such warrant may have been issued, must accompany the requisition as aforesaid.

The President of the United States, or the proper executive authority in Belgium, may then issue a warrant for the apprehension of the fugitive, in order that he may be brought before the proper judicial authority for examination. If it should then be decided that, according to the law and the evidence, the extradition is due pursuant to the treaty, the fugitive may be given up according to the forms prescribed in such cases.


The expenses of the arrest, detention and transportation of the persons claimed shall be paid by the government in whose name the requisition has been made.


Extradition shall not be granted, in pursuance of the provisions of this convention, if legal proceedings or the enforcement of the penalty for the act committed by the person claimed, has become barred by limitation, according to the laws of the country to which the requisition is addressed.


All articles found in the possession of the accused party and obtained through the commission of the act with which he is charged, or that may be used as evidence of the crime for which his extradition is demanded, shall be seized if the competent authority shall so order, and shall be surrendered with his person.

The rights of third parties to the articles so found shall nevertheless be respected.


The present convention shall take effect thirty days after the exchange of ratifications.

After it shall have taken effect, the convention of March 19, 1874, shall cease to be in force and shall be superseded by the present convention which shall continue to have binding force for six months after a desire for its termination shall have been expressed in due form by one of the two governments to the other.

It shall be ratified and its ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.

In witness whereof. the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles, both in the English and French languages, and they have thereunto affixed their seals.

Done in duplicate, at the city of Washington, this thirteenth day of June, 1882.


(1) This treaty was terminated June 14, 1902, on the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of 1901.Back

Treaties, Conventions, International Acts and Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers 1776-1909.
Compiled by William M. Malloy
Under Resolution of the Senate of January 18, 1909
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1910.
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.