Extradition is the formal process where one country asks another country to return a person to them so that they can stand trial or serve a sentence. There are two separate arrest warrants which may be issued which would depend on the territory category. Challenging extradition from the UK can be very complex and expert legal representation from solicitors and barristers to guide you and represent you throughout the Extradition process is essential.
What is Extradition?
The process of Extradition takes place when a person is accused or convicted of a crime in a foreign country, where they are required to stand trial or face punishment. A number of countries have an extradition agreement with the UK allowing for Extradition to take place from the UK, however even where a country does not have an extradition agreement with the UK, it may still be possible for an individual to be extradited from the UK in such circumstances. Providing that there are no bars to the Extradition taking place, there usually limited grounds to prevent an individual being extradited from the UK. However, the factors surrounding the Extradition and the reasons given in the Extradition request would need to be carefully considered by lawyers to prepare a successful challenge to an individual being extradited from the UK.
Extradition To Category 1 And Category 2 Territories
If a person is in an EU country and is being extradited to another EU country, then they will be issued with a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Legislation relating to EAWs can be found under Part 1 of the Extradition Act 2003. EU countries are also referred to as category 1 territories.
The extradition hearing should begin within 21 days of the arrest, after the person has been brought before a District Judge at the Magistrates Court. The judge must be satisfied that the conduct which was outlined in the warrant amounts to an extradition offence and that none of the bars to extradition apply. The judge must also take into consideration the human rights of the person and whether extradition would be proportionate and compatible. Any appeals must be made to the High Court within 7 days of the relevant decision being made. An appeal to the Supreme Court may only be made in exceptional circumstances.
Category 2 territories refer to countries outside of the EU. The use of international arrest warrants and can be found under Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003. Extradition requests from these territories require decisions from both the courts and from the Secretary of State. ‘Special extradition arrangements’ may also be made to the International Criminality Unit (ICU) if the UK has no extradition arrangement or treaty with that particular territory.
The Extradition of UK Nationals
As a matter of policy, the UK will extradite its own nationals, as long as there are no bars to exemption which may apply. Whilst the EAW has been a valuable law-enforcement instrument, there have many headlines in recent years have reported the injustices for British citizens who have been extradited to countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, whose legal systems cannot be seen as fair and free from corruption. Therefore, without correct legal representation, people’s human rights may be being violated within a society which is meant to protect them.
To challenge Extradition from the UK can involve several stages:
- Bail Application stage: This would involve successfully representing and/or negotiating the individual’s release on bail;
- Review and Preparing Challenge to Extradition Request: This would involve careful preparation and analysis of the reasons provided in the Extradition request and whether any of the Bars to Extradition apply. These will also often involve numerous Human Rights considerations, which may be infringed as a result of the practice and law of the foreign country the individual is being extradited to.
- Extradition hearing: This would involve successfully representing and/or negotiating against the individual’s extradition from the UK.
The above stages would require careful and thorough consideration by specialist Extradition solicitors and barristers who can guide you and represent you throughout the entire Extradition process.
Using Legal Representation to Successfully Challenge Extradition from the UK
Using legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an extradition case.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully Challenging Extradition from the UK
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form