Romanian prison conditions; update
The Daily Mail has reacted with its usual predictable outrage and lack of understanding to the recent decision of the High Court in the case of Grecu & Bagarea v Romania. This is the latest case in the ongoing saga of Romanian prison conditions.
Romanian prisons and the Article 3 Human Rights
There have been a number of cases both in this country and throughout the rest of Europe where people who are wanted by Romania have sought to challenge their extradition on the grounds that it would be a breach of their Article 3 Human Rights. It is widely accepted that the prison conditions in Romania are very poor, both in terms of the space allocated to an individual prisoner and the overall conditions.
Challenges in this country have been brought mainly in relation to the amount of space that prisoners are held in. In previous cases, the Court has decided that the amount of space that a prisoner would normally have is not enough. However, the Romanian authorities have promised that people extradited from the UK would be held in better conditions, with more space. Evidence from people later extradited has made it clear that this is not happening, and the Romanian authorities have accepted that there are problems.
At some point, the High Court is going to have to decide whether the Romanian assurances can be relied upon, as they continually breach them. The signs from other courts in Europe, and in particular from a Croatian case heard in the European Court of Human Rights, is that patience has run out. Our article JFH Crime secures the discharge of Romanian EAW, talks about the latest update from September 2017.
Another ‘last chance’ for Romania
Contrary to the Daily Mail’s view, the High Court has not said that Grecu and Baggarea can stay in this country. They have allowed the Romanian authorities ‘a final opportunity’ to provide the necessary undertakings, despite Romania having had a number of ‘last chances’. The Court appear to acknowledge that if the Romanian authorities cannot do so, there can be no extradition to Romania until the problem is resolved. It is likely that the High Court will make a decision in this case in the next few weeks, but do not expect that to be the end of the matter.
Please contact John Howey 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.
John Howey, Senior Solicitor