Extradition; What happens when I get to Court?
Being detained on a European Arrest Warrant is daunting, but you do not have to face extradition alone – help is available.
But what happens when you get to court? And should you ever consider consenting to extradition? We cover the process, along with the next steps, in our blog.
In the courtroom
The essential first step when you are initially faced with extradition is to ensure you get an extradition solicitor. There are always duty solicitors available at Court, and they can help you at your initial hearing free of charge. However, you will have no say in who you are assigned.
Alternatively, you can contact a solicitor of your choosing who specialises in extradition law. With over thirty combined years of experience, our experts at JFH Crime can help you fight your extradition case each step of the way.
If you are arrested on an extradition warrant, you will be taken to Westminster Magistrates Court, which is the only magistrates court in England and Wales that handles extradition cases.
When you appear in court you will be asked your name and date of birth. The representative from the Judicial Authority will tell the District Judge:
- What the warrant is about
- Which country the warrant is from
- If the warrant is an accusation or a conviction warrant
- What the offences are
- What sentence has been imposed if it is a conviction warrant
The judge will want to know if you have been given a copy of the warrant and if you accept that you are the person named in the warrant. They will also assess if you should be granted bail until the end of your case, or if you should remain in custody.
Should you consent to your extradition?
The next step is to ask if you consent to your extradition. This is a big decision -if you consent, that is the end of the matter. You cannot change your mind later, and you cannot appeal against the decision to extradite you.
If you consent, you will be returned to the requesting state quicker than if you contest your extradition. You should be returned within ten days, although that time can be extended whilst arrangements are made for your flights and other transport.
If you do not give your consent, then the District Judge will want to know the grounds on which you oppose your extradition. There are several statutory bars to extradition, and many people rely on the Human Rights Act. Once the issues have been identified, a date for the full hearing will be fixed, and your case will be adjourned until then.
JFH Crime can help you apply for bail and fight your extradition, providing crucial support and specialist representation no matter your circumstances. We have a consistent active presence in Westminster Magistrates Court and will keep you updated every step of the way.
JFH Crime can help
You or your loved one doesn’t have to face extradition alone. JFH Crime are specialist extradition lawyers in London who can provide sound legal advice and representation for all those facing extradition.
Facing extradition can be exceptionally stressful, and people are often under a huge amount of pressure to manage it. Finding the right legal advice is paramount, so don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team.
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.