Extradition – What is it?

December 7, 2017

Extradition is where someone is returned to stand trial or serve a sentence in another country where they have been accused of doing something against the law. In some cases, a warrant may be issued against them. The process starts with a request from the state to the UK authorities, and it is up to the Court to decide whether the extradition criteria has been met, after this the decision is in the hands of the Home Secretary.  Each scenario is different, depending on the requesting States and which extradition regime is being used.

Will I need a solicitor?

We strongly recommend having a solicitor to help guide you through this process, as the world of Extradition law can get very complicated. One of our highly experienced duty solicitors will be available at Court to assist you.

Bars to Extradition

There are arguments that can be used as a bar to being extradited, which is why it is important to be properly advised.   These include

  • Rule against double jeopardy – meaning you should not be tried or punished twice for the same offence
  • The absence of a prosecution decision – you should not be extradited unless there is a substantive case against you, not just for the purposes of initial enquiries
  • Extraneous considerations – such as whether the request for extradition is improperly motivated, say for political reasons
  • Onward extradition – this would be where the requested person has previously been extradited to the UK from a third county, and consent for any extradition from the UK would require that country’s consent
  • Forum – meaning that the criminal allegations should be prosecuted elsewhere, usually in the UK, rather than being returned to another jurisdiction

It is also the judges decision to make as to whether extradition breaches the requested person’s human rights, if the judge decides that it would be proportionate and compatible, extradition is ordered.  If you are eligible, this can be funded under legal aid.

If you are seeking expert assistance with extradition, or you are worried about a possible future extradition request, please contact Russell Nicholson on nicholsonr@tuckerssolicitors.com or 020 7388 8333

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