The exchange of wanted persons between the UK and the US is a contentious issue and has been for more than 200 years.
Anglo-American extradition is in the news. The administrations of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have refused to return Anne Sacoolas for prosecution over teenager Harry Dunn’s death in 2019 on the grounds of her diplomatic immunity. Yet both have pressed for the transfer of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who may become the first person to be returned to the US on espionage charges. The cases have prompted criticism of a powerful country’s high-handed approach to extradition, but they are not arbitrary. They can be situated within a set of rules governing Anglo-American extradition that spans more than 200 years.