Can I challenge my Extradition?
Most people arrested on an extradition warrant understandably want to fight their extradition. However, there are only a limited number of challenges that can be raised to a valid extradition warrant. If it is a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), the District Judge hearing the case does not look at the evidence against you in the country asking for your return. They are not concerned with whether you are guilty of the offence or not. They are simply dealing with a request for you to be extradited to be dealt with under the law and procedure in the requesting country.
The passage of time
There are 10 ‘bars’ to extradition in the extradition act. The most commonly used of these (apart from Human Rights issues) is the passage of time, where a person argues that because of the amount of time that has passed since the offence it would be ‘unjust’ or ‘oppressive’ to extradite them. Although it is common for long periods of time to pass between the offence and a person’s arrest, most people are not able to use this as a reason to oppose their extradition. If a person knows about the case but decides to leave the country and this causes the delay, they cannot say that the amount of time that has passed means they should not be extradited.
The forum bar
One bar to extradition that is rarely used at the moment but is likely to become more common is the ‘forum’ bar. That can be used when a lot of the criminal activity is said to have happened in the UK and it is in the interests of justice that the person should not be extradited. The effect of extradition being barred in this way is likely to be prosecution in this country, but there are many reasons why someone might want to be dealt with here, rather than in another country.
Please contact us on 0207 388 1658, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss your extradition matter with us further, or to find out whether you would be eligible for legal aid for extradition matters. We have a dedicated team of lawyers specialising in extradition who are here to help you.
John Howey, Senior Solicitor