Solicitor John Howey has secured the discharge of a Romanian client who was facing extradition under EAW (European Arrest Warrant). on the grounds that his extradition would breach his Article 3 Human Rights. This is the result of the High Court decision in Grecu and others.
In that case, the Court followed the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Muršic v Croatia, where the ECtHR ruled that every person extradited must be guaranteed at least 3 sq meters of cell space. Previously, the High Court had drawn a distinction between prisoners held in closed conditions, which required 3 sq meters, and prisoners held in open or semi-open conditions, where anything over 2 sq meters was held to be sufficient.
The Romanian authorities have, in a number of cases, provided assurances that persons extradited to Romania would be guaranteed 3 sq meters in both open/semi-open and closed conditions. In our case, the Romanian authorities were only able to guarantee 2 sq meters, because of the part of the country our client is from and the prison conditions in that part of the country.
EAW; are prison conditions settled in Romania?
The conclusion we can draw from this is that the prison conditions issue is far from settled. Longer term prisoners will continue to be held in closed conditions, where 3 sq meters appears to be routinely guaranteed. Whether or not the Romanian authorities can guarantee short-term prisoners adequate cell space will depend on the part of the country they are from, which dictates where they would serve their sentence.
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 SolicitorRead More
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 email@example.com 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, SolicitorRead More