I wrote about the US-UK extradition treaty on seven months ago.
Now that it is in the news again, I want to to be very clear about the problem with this treaty. The problem is not that the US Senate has not ratified the treaty, nor is that the treaty lacks reciprocity. Those are both red herrings.
The problem with this treaty – whether or not the Senate ratifies it – is that it allows a person to be extradited from the UK without presentation of prima facie evidence against them.
The reason that the treaty cannot be reciprocal is that American courts, quite rightly, would not permit their citizens to be treated this way. It would breach the US Bill of Rights to extradite citizens without evidence.
So the problem will not be solved by having the treaty ratified by the Senate, as the UK Government seems to think. Even if it were ratified, it would still not be symmetrical. Nor is the lack of reciprocity the problem in itself, though it is a clue to what is wrong. The problem is that the treaty obliges the UK government to violate a person's rights without the presentation of evidence against them. Even if the US Government could reciprocally abrogate the rights of its citizens in the same way – and we should be thankful that they cannot – it would still be wrong.