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Extradition Law FAQ's

What is Extradition?

Extradition is a process that occurs when one nation makes a request of anther nation for an individual who has either been accused of a crime (accusation warrants) or who has been convicted of a crime (conviction warrant). That individual is thereby requested to either stand trial or serve a sentence already passed.

There are different types of extradition request. For example members of the EU (and other European nations) are members of the European Arrest Warrant scheme (EAW). Non-EAW requests are based on Treaties between nations and can be very complex.

The EAW scheme is an attempt to streamline and speed up extradition processes within the EAW area. Therefore the EAW becomes both a warrant to arrest and the extradition request itself. 

Ordinarily if a non-EU state is making the request then this must be done through the British government. By contrast the EAW cases are dealt with directly though the courts of the requesting country communicating with the British Courts.

For non-EU countries the Westminster Magistrates’ Court will issue the warrant following a request from that country.

What occurs if you are made the subject of an Extradition Request?

If you are the subject of an EAW or other extradition request, you will be liable to be arrested straight away. 

Once you are arrested the police will take you to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, you will be taken to this Court no matter where in England or Wales you are arrested.

On rare occasions you can be arrested before the extradition warrant is issued, this can only be done if the police have information that proves that a warrant is about to be issued. 

Will the police interview you?

The police will not interview you in respect of the extradition matter. The police’s role in extradition is simply to bring you before the Court.

Do you have a right to be represented by a extradition lawyer?

Yes you have an absolute right to be represented. You can ask for a lawyer of your choosing. 

George Hepburne Scott is one of the few Barristers authorized to represent clients at the police station. 

Once at court you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer throughout the proceedings. This can either be through legal aid or through private instructions. If you pay a lawyer to act for you privately in extradition proceedings you can recover your fees if you win the case.

Can you speak to a lawyer?

Yes, you or your family can contact a lawyer to represent you immediately. This should be done as soon as possible. It is possible to call a lawyer before or after your first court appearance. If you pay privately you can have a lawyer of your choice. If you rely on legal aid you will generally have to stick with the lawyer who appears on the ‘duty rota’ at the first appearance. 

Do you get legal aid?

This depends on your income. If you and your partner receive less than £22,000 per year then you may be entitled to legal aid. If not you will have to pay privately. George Hepburne Scott and his team operate at very competitive rates. We will represent you privately for the best rates available.


What should I do if I think there might be a request for my extradition?

Contact an extradition lawyer to discuss your options. 

We are here to help.