CONVENTION ON SERVING CRIMINAL SENTENCES ABROAD
THE MEMBER STATES OF THE
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,
CONSIDERING that, according to Article 2.e of the OAS Charter, one of the
essential purposes of the Organization of American States is to "seek the
solution of political, juridical and economic problems that may arise among
INSPIRED BY THE DESIRE to cooperate to ensure improved administration of
justice through the social rehabilitation of the sentenced persons;
PERSUADED that to attain these ends, it is advisable that the sentenced person
be given an opportunity to serve the sentence in the country of which the
sentenced person is a national; and
CONVINCED that the way to bring about this result is to transfer the sentenced
RESOLVES to adopt the following Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal
ARTICLE II DEFINITIONS
For the purposes of this convention:
1. Sentencing state: means the state party from which the sentenced person
would be transferred.
2. Receiving state: means the state party to which the sentenced person would
3. Sentence: means the final judicial decision imposing, as a penalty for the
commission of a criminal offense, imprisonment or a term of parole, probation,
or other form of supervision without imprisonment. A sentence is understood to
be final when no ordinary legal appeal against the conviction or sentence is
pending in the sentencing state and the period for its appeal has expired.
4. Sentenced person: means the person who is to serve or is serving a sentence
in the territory of a state party.
ARTICLE II GENERAL PRINCIPLES
In accordance with the provisions of this convention:
a. a sentence imposed in one state party upon a national of another state
party may be served by the sentenced person in the state of which he or she is
a national; and
b. the states parties undertake to afford each other the fullest cooperation
in connection with the transfer of sentenced persons.
ARTICLE III CONDITIONS FOR THE APPLICATION OF THIS CONVENTION
This convention shall be applicable only under the following conditions:
1. The sentence must be final, as defined in Article 1.3 of this convention.
2. The sentenced person must consent to the transfer, having been previously
informed of the legal consequences thereof.
3. The act for which the person has been sentenced must also constitutes a
crime in the receiving state. For this purpose, no account shall be taken of
differences of terminology or of those that have no bearing on the nature of
4. The sentenced person must be a national of the receiving state.
5. The sentence to be served must not be the death penalty.
6. At least six months of the sentence must remain to be served at the time
the request is made.
7. The administration of the sentence must not be contrary to domestic law in
the receiving state.
ARTICLE IV PROVISION OF INFORMATION
1. Each state party shall inform any sentenced person covered by the
provisions of this convention as to its content.
2. The states parties shall keep the sentenced person informed as to the
processing of the transfer.
ARTICLE V PROCEDURE FOR TRANSFER
The transfer of a sentenced person from one state to another shall be subject
to the following procedure:
The request for application of this convention may be made by the sentencing
state, the receiving state, or the sentenced person. The procedures for the
transfer may be initiated by the sentencing state or by the receiving state.
In these cases, it is required that the sentenced person has expressed consent
to the transfer.
The request for transfer shall be processed through the central authorities
indicated pursuant to Article XI of this convention, or, in the absence
thereof, through consular or diplomatic channels. In conformity with its
domestic law, each state party shall inform those authorities it considers
necessary as to the content of this convention. It shall also endeavor to
establish mechanisms for cooperation among the central authority and the other
authorities that are to participate in the transfer of the sentenced person.
If the sentence was handed down by a state or province with criminal
jurisdiction independent from that of the federal government, the approval of
the authorities of that state or province shall be required for the
application of this transfer procedure.
The request for transfer shall furnish pertinent information establishing that
the conditions of Article III have been met.
Before the transfer is made, the sentencing state shall permit the receiving
state to verify, if it wishes, through an official designated by the latter,
that the sentenced person has given consent to the transfer in full knowledge
of the legal consequences thereof.
In taking a decision on the transfer of a sentenced person, the states parties
may consider, among other factors, the possibility of contributing to the
person's social rehabilitation; the gravity of the offense; the criminal
record of the sentenced person, if any; the state of health of the sentenced
person; and the family, social, or other ties the sentenced person may have in
the sentencing state and the receiving state.
The sentencing state shall provide the receiving state with a certified copy
of the sentence, including information on the amount of time already served by
the sentenced person and on the time off that could be credited for reasons
such as work, good behavior, or pre trial detention. The receiving state may
request such other information as it deems necessary.
Surrender of the sentenced person by the sentencing state to the receiving
state shall be effected at the place agreed upon by the central authorities.
The receiving state shall be responsible for custody of the sentenced person
from the moment of delivery.
All expenses that arise in connection with the transfer of the sentenced
person until that person is placed in the custody of the receiving state shall
be borne by the sentencing state.
The receiving state shall be responsible for all expenses arising from the
transfer of the sentenced person as of the moment that person is placed in the
receiving state's custody.
ARTICLE VI REFUSAL OF TRANSFER REQUEST
When a state party does not approve the transfer of a sentenced person, it
shall notify the requesting state of its refusal immediately, and whenever
possible and appropriate, explain its reasons for the refusal.
ARTICLE VII RIGHTS OF THE SENTENCED PERSON WHO IS TRANSFERRED AND MANNER OF
1. A sentenced person who is transferred under the provisions of this
convention shall not be arrested, tried, or sentenced again in the receiving
state for the same offense upon which the sentence to be executed is based.
2. Except as provided in Article VIII of this convention, the sentence of a
sentenced person who is transferred shall be served in accordance with the
laws and procedures of the receiving state, including application of any
provisions relating to reduction of time of imprisonment or of alternative
service of the sentence.
No sentence may be enforced by a receiving state in such fashion as to
lengthen the sentence beyond the date on which it would expire under the terms
of the sentence of the court in the sentencing state.
3. The authorities of a sentencing state may request, by way of the central
authorities, reports on the status of service of the sentence of any sentenced
person transferred to a receiving state in accordance with this convention.
ARTICLE VIII REVIEW OF SENTENCE AND EFFECTS IN THE RECEIVING STATE
The sentencing state shall retain full jurisdiction for the review of
sentences issued by its courts. It shall also retain the power to grant
pardon, amnesty, or mercy to the sentenced person. The receiving state, upon
receiving notice of any decision in this regard, must take the corresponding
ARTICLE IX APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION IN SPECIAL CASES
This Convention may also be applicable to persons subject to supervision or
other measures under the laws of one of the states parties relating to
youthful offenders. Consent for the transfer shall be obtained from the person
legally authorized to grant it.
By agreement between the parties, this convention may be applied to persons
whom the competent authority has pronounced unindictable, for purposes of
treatment of such persons in the receiving state. The parties shall, in
accordance with their laws, agree on the type of treatment to be accorded such
individuals upon transfer. For the transfer, consent must be obtained from a
person legally authorized to grant it.
ARTICLE X TRANSIT
If the sentenced person, upon being transferred, must cross the territory of a
another state party to this convention, the latter shall be notified by way of
transmittal of the decision granting the transfer by the state under whose
custody the transfer is to be effected. In such cases, the state of transit
may or may not consent to the transit of the sentenced person through its
Such notification shall not be necessary when air transport is used and no
regular landing is scheduled in the territory of the state party that is to be
ARTICLE XI CENTRAL AUTHORITY
Upon signing, ratifying, or acceding to this convention, the states parties
shall notify the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States of
the central authority designated to perform the functions provided herein. The
General Secretariat shall distribute to the states parties to this convention
a list of the designations it has received.
ARTICLE XII RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER AGREEMENTS
None of the stipulations of this convention shall be construed to restrict
other bilateral or multilateral treaties or other agreements between the
FINAL CLAUSES ARTICLE XIII
This convention is open to signature by the Member states of the Organization
of American States.
This convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification
shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of
This convention shall remain open to accession by any other state. The
instruments of accession shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of
the Organization of American States.
The States may set forth reservations to this convention at such time as they
approve, sign, ratify, or accede to it, provided that the reservations are not
incompatible with the object and purpose of this convention and that they
relate to one or more specific provisions.
This convention shall enter into force for the ratifying states on the
thirtieth day following the date on which the second instrument of
ratification has been deposited.
For each state that ratifies the convention or accedes to it after the second
instrument of ratification has been deposited, the convention shall enter into
force on the thirtieth day following the day on which such states has
deposited its instrument of ratification or accession.
This convention shall remain in force indefinitely, but any state party may
denounce it. The denunciation shall be registered with the General Secretariat
of the Organization of American States. At the end of one year from the date
of the denunciation, the convention shall cease to be in force for the
However, its provisions shall remain in force for the denouncing state with
respect to sentenced persons transferred in accordance with this convention,
until the respective sentences have been served.
Requests for transfer being processed at the time the denunciation of this
convention is made will continue to be processed and executed, unless the
parties agree to the contrary.
The original of this convention, whose texts in English, French, Portuguese,
and Spanish are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the General
Secretariat of the Organization of American States, which shall send a
certified copy, for registry and publication, to the Secretariat of the United
Nations, pursuant to Article 102 of the United Nations Charter. The General
Secretariat of the Organization of American States shall notify the Member
states of that Organization and the states that have acceded to the convention
of the signatures affixed, the instruments of ratification, accession, or
denunciation deposited, and the reservations set forth, if any.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized
thereto by their respective governments, have signed this Convention, which
shall be called the "Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences
DONE IN THE CITY OF MANAGUA, NICARAGUA, the ninth of June in the year one
thousand nine hundred ninety-three.