The role of NGOs and EU committees in Extradition
One of the arguments often raised against extradition is the right not to be subjected to degrading/inhuman treatment whilst in prison. The state of prison conditions across Europe varies widely; poor conditions have been reported in Belgium (read our article about Belgian prison conditions here) whilst across the border in the Netherlands, there are a lack of prisoners to fill their prisons.
In order to argue prison conditions as a bar to extradition, the onus lies on the Requested Person to provide ‘objective, reliable, specific and properly updated evidence’. It is insufficient to rely on anecdotal evidence. Therefore, extradition lawyers turn to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), EU committees and other international bodies for such evidence.
One of the NGOs extradition lawyers work with is Fair Trials. Fair Trials seeks to promote the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings, through campaigns, the provision of information and tool-kits for lawyers, and intervening in cases (they intervened in the case of Ibrahim and oths v UK APPS No. 50541/08 and oths)
When someone is extradited to a country where there is a real risk that he or she will be subjected to degrading/inhuman treatment as a result of the prison conditions they will be placed in, the requesting state will most likely provide an assurance that they will be detained in Article 3 compliant prisons if they are extradited. After extradition takes place, there is little extradition lawyers can do to monitor the effectiveness of such assurances. Lawyers will have to turn to NGOs such as Fair Trials for such information.
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.
Cheryl Low, Solicitor