Home > Blog

How can you block the extradition?

An extradition lawyer will be able to go through the various bars to extradition. We have many years of experience in blocking extradition requests by any lawful means possible.

There are a great many ways in which extradition can be blocked, we strive to continually innovate the law and to explore and expand the scope for blocking extradition requests. 

We will examine closely whether there are any procedural or technical defects in the extradition request.

Firstly is the conduct alleged to have occurred set out in a fair and accurate way. We pioneered challenges to extradition requests where the conduct of the requested person was not set out in sufficient detail so that the extradition request can be stopped at the first hurdle – see Palar v Court of First Instance of Brussels [2005] EWHC 915 (Admin).

There are other formal bars to extradition; we have particular expertise in the following:

Double Jeopardy – this is where you have already been convicted of the offences or very similar offences - Fofana v Deputy Prosecutor Thubin Tribunal de Grande Instance de Meaux, France [2006] All ER (D) 61 (Apr) & Gradica v Public Prosecutor's Office Attached To the Court of Turin [2009] EWHC 2846 (Admin) (11 November 2009)

Extraneous considerations – this is where the warrant has been produced to persecute you for your race, gender, sexuality, religion, or political beliefs or for some other reason. This also applies where you might be prejudiced at your trial due to any of these considerations - Tamarevichute v The Russian Federation [2008] EWHC 534 (Admin) (19 March 2008)

Passage of time – this refers to situations where it would be unfair of oppressive to extradite you due the passage of time since the offences were alleged to have been committed or were committed - Goodyer & Gomes v Government of Trinidad & Tobago [2007] EWHC 2012 (Admin) (22 August 2007)

Forum – this is a rarely used argument that the offences should be prosecuted in the UK rather than the requesting state. This has only been in place since October 2013 having been introduced into the Extradition Act 2003 (the Act) by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. It is generally used in computer hacking cases where some of the alleged criminality can properly be said to have occurred in the UK.

Right to a re-trial - if you were convicted in your absence and you did not know about the proceedings then the requesting state must prove that in the law of the requesting state you have a right to a re-trial. If they cannot prove this to the UK court’s satisfaction then you can block your extradition - Cretu v Local Court of Suceava, Romania [2016] EWHC 353 (Admin) (26 February 2016)

Human Rights bars – we can block your extradition if there is a risk that your human rights as set out in the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) would be breached, in particular: 

Article 3 – Prohibition on inhuman or degrading treatment, this right can block extradition to countries with inhumane prison conditions e.g. Turkey, Greece, Romania, and Russia – see Soering v United Kingdom (1989) 11 EHRR 439,

Article 5 – The right to liberty and security protects the right of a person not to be arbitrarily deprived of their liberty– this can play into other Human Rights e.g. Article 6 right to a fair trial (see below) - Chahal v United Kingdom (1997) 15 EHRR 256,

Article 6 – Right to a fair trial: this right can be used to block extradition to countries where there has been or might be a flagrant denial of justice - R(Ullah) v. Special Adjudicator [2004] 2 AC 323

 Article 8 – Right to a Private and Family Life: this right can be engaged by extradition lawyers in almost every case. The Court then has to balance the right to a family life with the obligation to extradite criminals. Clearly the longer the delay in the extradition request, the relative seriousness of the alleged or proved offence and the efforts made by the subject to redeem himself in the intervening years all come into play - Polish Judicial Authorities v Celinski & Ors [2015] EWHC 1274 (Admin) (06 May 2015). 

Abuse of Process – where the extradition request has been made in circumstances where it would be blatantly unfair to extradite you then we can block your extradition as an abuse of process. This is by far one of the most expansive of grounds to block an extradition - Bennett v Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court and Another [1993] 3 All E.R. 138.

Physical or mental health of the defendant – where you can be said to be suffering from severe or enduring mental or physical illness then this can be a bar to extradition - Government of the Republic of South Africa v Dewani [2014] EWHC 153 (Admin) (31 January 2014)

All of these potential defences are complex and require the careful use of evidence. You should speak to a lawyer who can advise you properly on your individual circumstances.

Do they need evidence to extradite me?

The short answer in EAW cases is ‘no’. For other non-EAW cases the answer is also ‘no’ e.g. Russia and the USA. 

How long does Extradition take? 

Under the EAW scheme, the period from first arrest to extradition hearing usually takes 2 – 3 months.

For non-EAW cases, the process usually takes 6 - 8 months.

Is there an appeal process? 

If you lose you can appeal in the High Court but there is a strict time limit of 7 days for doing so.

If you win, the requesting state may also appeal.

From the High Court it is possible to apply for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court but permission will only be granted in very exceptional cases.