Extradition law is complex – get an expert to guide you through it.
Tuckers Solicitors is well known for its expertise and experience in protecting the interests of clients in complex and technical matters of extradition law and mutual assistance. We fight extradition requests, under the European Arrest Warrants (EAW) scheme or extradition requests from outside of the EAW scheme, including countries categorised as Part 2 territories such as the USA, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Argentina and others.
We advise clients prior to the issue of an arrest warrant and ensure legal representation throughout legal proceedings from the point of arrest, at Court and through the appeals process, including the Supreme Court.
Our lawyers are fluent in many languages, including German, French, Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Albanian and many more. The Department is headed by Russell Nicholson a specialist Extradition lawyer since 2007 and a member of the Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum.
About the Legal Process of Extradition – Guidance from our Extradition Lawyers
Extradition is a legal process by which a requesting state can apply for the arrest and surrender of a person from another state, for the purpose of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence. It is quite different from deportation, which is concerned with the removal of an individual from a national territory.
Extradition requests from and out of the United Kingdom are governed by the Extradition Act 2003 which came into force on 1 January 2003. It is aimed to provide a new simplified system of surrender of accused and convicted/sentenced persons. We regularly act in all aspects of serious and complex crimes involving both category 1 and category 2 territories at both first instance and appellate stages including appeals to the Supreme Court.
Appeals against Extradition
Category 1 countries
Where the extradition of a person has been ordered by the District Judge, within 7 days of the extradition order being made, the requested person may appeal against the District Judge’s decision to the High Court. However, the territory in which the extradition was issued, may also appeal to the High Court to contest this request.
Category 2 countries
The requested person may appeal within 14 days of the Extradition Order being made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to the High Court. Such an appeal may be made against the District Judge’s decision, the Secretary of State’s decision or both.
The decisions of public bodies, where there is no other right of appeal, can be subject to Judicial Review.
Following a High Court decision, an appeal may be made to the Supreme Court. This may be initiated by the person or the territory issuing the extradition request. However, to do so, leave must be granted by either the High Court or the Supreme Court. An appeal to the Supreme Court may only concern a point of law of general public importance, and must be made within strict time limits.
In some cases, it may also be possible to make a further application for appeal to the European Court of Human Rights or for interim measures under Rule 39.
Extradition Process – Legal Advice from our Extradition Solicitors in Birmingham, Manchester & London
The Extradition process is extremely complex and requires specialist legal advice to ensure that you present the best case for resisting extradition. The process depends on whether the country requesting your surrender falls under Part 1 or Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.
In all cases, there will be an initial hearing and an extradition hearing which will take place at Westminster Magistrates Court. Depending on the outcome of the extradition hearing there may grounds for appeal to the High Court.
Extradition Hearings: Categories 1 &2
Territories designated as category 1 (EU countries)
The extradition hearing in respect of category 1 should normally take place within 21 days of arrest, unless parties apply for an extension “in the interest of justice”. At the extradition hearing the District Judge decides whether the offence specified in the European Arrest Warrant is an extradition offence. If the District Judge is satisfied that the conduct amounts to an extradition offence, he must then consider whether the bars to extradition apply. These being; the rule against double jeopardy, extraneous considerations, passage of time, the person’s age, hostage-taking considerations, speciality, the person’s earlier extradition.
The District Judge is required to decide whether the person’s extradition would be compatible with the Convention rights within the understanding of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Territories designated as category 2
Under Part 2 of The Act, requests are made to the Secretary of State who then issues a certificate and sends the papers to the court. The court then issues a warrant for the requested person’s arrest. The documentation can only be certified if the requirements of Section 70 of The Act are met. Some Category 2 countries are not required to provide prima facie evidence in support of their request for extradition.
At the extradition hearing, the District Judge must be satisfied with a number of issues: the sufficiency of the documents, identity and whether or not the offence is an extradition offence. The District Judge will next consider whether any of the bars to extradition apply. The District Judge is then required to decide whether the person’s extradition would be compatible with the Convention rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998. If it does not, then the case will be sent to the Secretary of State for consideration. The defence must make any representations within 6 weeks of the case being sent. The Secretary of State will then make a decision within 2 months of the day the case being submitted.
After arrest, the defendant is brought before a District Judge for an initial hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, in London. At the initial hearing the Court deals with issues regarding the identity of requested person, whether he was produced at court as soon as practicable, was he served with the arrest warrant and the person will be informed about the procedures for consent to extradition. The court also sets a date for the extradition hearing. Next decision is made to remand the requested person on bail or in custody.
Timetable for Extradition
Once the District Judge at Westminster Magistrates Court orders the requested person’s extradition, extradition must take place within the time limits specified by law – otherwise an application may be made for discharge.
Part 1 Cases (EAW scheme)
The requested person must be extradited within 17 days from the date of the Extradition Order being made by the District Judge.
Part 2 Cases (Countries outside EAW scheme)
The requested person must be extradited within 28 days from the date that the Secretary of State for the Home Department orders extradition.
Contact Tuckers Solicitors – Leading Extradition Lawyers in London, Manchester & Birmingham
Our leading extradition lawyers are available 24 hours a day, providing immediate, first-class legal advice, representation and assistance during legal proceedings, ensuring the best interests of our clients. Please contact our Extradition Department on 020 7388 8333 or email email@example.com