How does Legal Aid work in Extradition cases?
Not everybody is aware that legal aid can be, and often is, granted in extradition cases. The procedure is the same as for a standard criminal case and involves an application to the Legal Aid Agency in the usual way. It is the same means test as for Magistrates Court cases, but the merits test is automatically passed. Claims for payment are made to the LAA as a non-standard fee.
If there is an appeal, either because the requested person wants to challenge the decision or because the Judicial Authority wants to appeal against the warrant being discharged, the case goes to the High Court. Legal Aid applications for appeals are made directly to the High Court, and are not subject to a means test (or the merits test). The High Court has not quite kept pace with the digital advances elsewhere in the justice system, and the application is still made on the old paper version of the CRM14.
Payment for work in the High Court is different; it involves submitting an itemised bill to the Senior Courts Costs Office for assessment.
In our article Can I get legal aid for my extradition case? you can find further information regarding legal aid and extradition.
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
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.