The human rights movement, which has had such a powerful impact on international law and relations in the post—World War II period, has in recent years turned its attention to extradition. Treaties, executive acts and judicial decisions on extradition have all been affected. At the same time, transnational and international crime has increased. The international community has responded by creating new institutions and expanding the network of bilateral and multilateral treaties designed to outlaw transnational crime, promote extradition, and authorize mutual assistance. Inevitably, there is a tension between the claim for the inclusion of human rights in the extradition process and the demand for more effective international cooperation in the suppression of crime, which resembles the tension in many national legal systems between the “law and order” and human rights approaches to criminal justice. As in domestic society, it is necessary to strike a balance between the two so as to establish a system in which crime is suppressed and human rights are respected. This was stressed by the European Court of Human Rights in the leading case on extradition and human rights, Soering v. United Kingdom, when it stated:
[I]nherent in the whole of the [European] Convention [on Human Rights] is a search for a fair balance between the demands of the general interest of the community and the requirements of the protection of the individual’s fundamental rights. As movement about the world becomes easier and crime takes on a larger international dimension, it is increasingly in the interests of all nations that suspected offenders who flee abroad should be brought to justice. Conversely, the establishment of safe havens for fugitives would not only result in danger for the State obliged to harbour the protected person but also tend to undermine the foundations of extradition. These considerations must also be included among the factors to be taken into account in the interpretation and application of the notions of inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in extradition cases.