Extradition news; Romanian prison conditions update
On 15th March, the High Court granted permission to appeal to a number of appellants who have once again raised the dire state of Romanian prison conditions. However, permission to appeal is limited to people who have been sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment or less. Presently, Romania has given an assurance to the UK that those who serve 3 years or less will be placed in prison cells with at least 2 square metres in semi-open prison conditions. Prisoners who face more than 3 years’ imprisonment will be detained in closed conditions where Romania has guaranteed them individual space of at least 3 square metres.
The case of Mursic v Croatia
The High Court relied on the case of Mursic v Croatia, a Grand Chamber decision in the European Court of Human Rights. In Mursic v Croatia, it was decided there is a presumption of risk of degrading treatment if a prisoner is placed in a cell with less than 3 square metres of individual space. The Government then has an obligation to prove to the Court how this cell is compatible with the prisoner’s human rights.
What this means is that anyone facing extradition to Romania to serve a sentence of 3 years or less, or accused of an offence carrying a maximum sentence of 3 years or less, will not be extradited until the appeal is heard. It is likely that this will not be for at least two months, and possibly much longer if there is an appeal to the Supreme Court.
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 your 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.
Cheryl Low, Solicitor