Crime, Extradition & Terrorism

International Law Section Policy

Below is a list of international policies adopted by the ABA House of Delegates. Please be advised that members must follow the policy procedure and usage guidelines outlined in the American Bar Association’s Constitution and Bylaws, Rules of Procedure of the House of Delegates. The specific procedures are available on the policy homepage.

Crime, Extradition, Terrorism

Child Trafficking.  Urging state legislatures to enact laws that effectively aid minors who are victims of human trafficking. 08/11

Anti-Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing Good Practices.  Supports the United States Government’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and observes that voluntary, risk-based and updated guidance would assist legal professionals to avoid money laundering and terrorist financing risks when providing services to clients and adopts the Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.  08/10

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Article 36). Urges the United States, state and territorial governments to work to ensure that the fundamental protections of Article 36 to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (“Article 36”) are extended fully and without obstacle to foreign nationals within United States borders. 02/10

Detainee Rights.   Urges U.S. courts to grant to detainees all rights granted to habeas petitioners consistent with Federal statutory habeas criminal law principles where applicable, appropriate to the facts and circumstances of that petitioner’s case.  02/09

Convention Against Corruption . Support the prompt ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UN Convention) by the United States, and by other members of the United Nations. 8/05

Universal Jurisdiction . Recognizes the principle of universal criminal jurisdiction as an important tool in the worldwide effort to strengthen the rule of law by providing the means for the prosecution of persons who have committed serious international crimes, regardless of where they are committed or by whom or against whom, and supports the principle when it is exercised consistent with the limitations set forth in the resolution. 2/04

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Urge Congress to conduct regular and timely oversight of the government’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to ensure that FISA investigations do not violate the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. Suggest the consideration of amendments to the Act that would ensure that FISA is used when the government has a significant (i.e. not in-substantial) foreign intelligence purpose and not to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, and that would make available to the public an annual statistical report on FISA investigations regarding the use of Federal wiretap authority. (03M118) 2/03

Money Laundering/Gatekeeper Regulations. Supports and urges reasonable and balanced initiatives designed to detect and prevent domestic and international money laundering and terrorist financing. Oppose any law or regulation that would compel lawyers to disclose confidential information to government officials and will continue to review the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. Urge bar associations and law schools to undertake education efforts to ensure that lawyers are informed regarding the scope of money laundering laws and the anti-money laundering requirements that apply to lawyers to safeguard the profession from being used to facilitate money laundering or terrorist financing activity. (03M104) 2/03

International Terrorism. Support President Bush’s November 13, 2001 military order authorizing trial of non-US citizens accused of acts of terrorism before military commissions, provided that all proceedings meet the requirements of fundamental fairness and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and that trials be made subject to review by an appropriate independent civilian reviewing authority designated by the President, with authority to approve, disapprove, or modify findings and sentences. (02M8C) 2/02

Convention on Corruption. Support the US ratification of the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption provided that a significant number of eligible states have demonstrated that they are also prepared to accede to this agreement and such states provide satisfactory evidence that the Convention will not be used to dilute their commitments under other international anti-corruption instruments. Include several reservations and understandings, such as the reservation to ensure that the U.S. would not be obligated to criminalize lobbying or other similar activities by ratifying the Convention. (01M105A) 2/01

Extradition of Individuals from Foreign Territories. Recommend that federal and state authorities dealing with the renditions of individuals from foreign territories, by extradition or otherwise, fully respect international law. 2/93

Iraqi War Crimes. Support efforts to strengthen the rule of law in international affairs by an appropriate investigation and, if found warranted, the establishment of an international ad hoc criminal tribunal for the apprehension, prosecution, and punishment of individuals for war crimes associated with Iraqi aggression against other States. Support the Nuremberg Principles as a part of customary international law and urge the U.S. government to support policies which strengthen it. 8/91

Colombian Drug Trafficking. Support lawyers, judges and public officials in Colombia who are fighting drug trafficking and urge Congress and the President of the U.S. to provide appropriate assistance to help them stem the destructive flow of cocaine and other drugs which threaten not only their country, but also the U.S.. State that the ABA will provide such support to the judicial system of Colombia as may be appropriate. 2/90

Terrorism. Support the enactment of domestic laws that address terrorist activities such as violent acts against civilians, detention or hijacking of vehicles and vessels, and theft of nuclear explosive materials. Support U.S. ratification of the Protocol for Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation. 8/88

Supplemental Extradition Treaty with the United Kingdom. Support ratification of this treaty, signed on June 25, 1985. 2/86

International Extradition Practices. Support legislation to modernize U.S. international extradition practices which would (1) Preserve the jurisdiction of the federal courts to make the initial determination whether extradition is barred by the political offense exception; (2) Assure that the exception not apply to acts of terrorist violence and serious breaches of international norms applicable in armed conflict, and (3) preclude bail in certain circumstances. 8/83

International Terrorism . Approve in principle the concept of a convention which would address the problem of terrorist activities in the Americas in a comprehensive manner. 2/82

International Terrorism . Support U.N. adoption of the Diplomats Convention and Hostage Convention. Support U.S. action to encourage ratification of relevant conventions by maximum number of countries, to stimulate implementation of these conventions, and to continue development of new initiatives. 2/81

Community Supervision of Offenders. Support proposal that the U.N. develop and promulgate standard minimum rules for the supervision of offenders in the community or in community residential care as a guide for nations desirous of expanding and increasing their utilization of community corrections programs and services. 8/75

Swiss-U.S. Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. Urge early ratification by the U.S. Senate of the Treaty between the Swiss Confederation and the U.S., signed in Switzerland on May 25, 1973. 2/75

International Terrorism. Recognize the urgent need for all countries to take all necessary measures within their jurisdictions to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism and to take effective measures to deal with those who perpetrate such acts. Recommend that the U.S. and other states seek to establish procedures for the exchange of information regarding terrorists. Commend the U.S. government for initiating a convention to prevent the export or spread of terrorist violence, and a convention for the prevention and punishment of crimes against diplomats and other internationally protected persons. 2/73

Crimes Aboard Aircraft. Support strong U.S. and international measures to reduce the frequency of, and to punish, such crimes. 2/63