We understand that extradition proceedings can be a difficult time for our clients and their families. That is why our extradition solicitors will support you every step of the way, providing clear, professional advice that you can rely on. Our team will offer expert legal representation throughout the proceedings including the appeals process.
Recognised as experts in their field, our specialist team of extradition lawyers have a well-established reputation for being highly creative and determined, winning cases – even against all odds. We have a proven track record in dealing with extradition requests and fight under the European Arrest Warrants (EAW) scheme or from outside of the EAW scheme.
We are skilled at gathering the best evidence to support challenges to extradition requests and will do everything possible to fight extradition proceedings against you, whether you are facing a potential extradition request, or more complex extradition matters.
The Legal Process of Extradition
Extradition is the formal process whereby one country requests another to return a person accused of a crime to stand trial or serve a sentence. Extradition requests can be made by overseas states for individuals accused of minor offences to serious crimes.
The UK has extradition relations with over 100 territories around the world, and the UK can also make extradition requests for those wanted overseas.
The legal process of extradition can be long and complicated. The requirements of different countries vary enormously, and the rights of objection to deportation by a requested individual is inconsistent across the world.
The form that an extradition request takes varies on which country is requesting the extradition. In the UK, legislation is defined by the Extradition Act 2003, which divides the world into two parts: European Union countries and countries outside the EU. For requests from EU countries a standardised procedure is used, and requests are made in the form of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). This acts as a warrant for an arrest and request for extradition. Individuals can be arrested on an EAW without any further warrant from the UK court.
For requests outside the EU, more information is required than that typically contained in an EAW. If a non-EU country is requesting your extradition, a formal request is made to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Westminster Magistrates’ Court will issue a domestic warrant for your arrest in these circumstances.
If an arrest is made, a bail application must be presented to the court.
Challenging an Extradition Request
Individuals may choose to challenge the extradition request. Challenges to extradition are mostly based on the process and its fairness, however requested persons are entitled to present arguments based on the following statutory bars:
- Human rights considerations – such as the right to a fair trial and the right not to suffer inhumane treatment
- UK exemptions – including the passage of time since the alleged behaviour and the physical or mental health of the accused.
- Double Jeopardy – the rule against trying a defendant twice for the same crime
- Absence of Prosecution Decision – the absence of a charge or decision to prosecute by authorities in the issuing state
- Extraneous Considerations – improper motives for prosecution, such as prosecution or punishment on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, or political opinions
- Proportionality – where it would be disproportionate to order the extradition when considering the effects on the requested person and the severity of the alleged offence.
- Forum Considerations – where it would be more appropriate for the requested person to be prosecuted in the UK
- Age – the accused having been under the age of criminal responsibility in the UK at the time of the alleged offence.
- Specialty – the absence of a guarantee that on return, the requested person will not be prosecuted for offences other than the ones that appear in the warrant.
Our team are well versed in gathering the best evidence to support challenges to extradition requests.
Defending an Extradition Case: Our Approach
Defending extradition cases requires a different approach from a case that is prosecuted domestically. Our team offer a unique service, drawing upon the experience of other departments within the firm including immigration, family law and criminal law.
If you have been accused or convicted of a crime in a foreign country, think there might be a request for your extradition, or been arrested on a European Arrest Warrant, you should contact us immediately to discuss your options as it is best to be prepared.
Our lawyers are often consulted prior to any formal extradition request and are adept at offering proactive advice to take at an early stage of the proceedings. When an extradition request is made, they will thoroughly review it and any surrounding circumstances, looking for opportunities to raise a challenge.
We understand that if you are facing the threat of extradition, it can be a very stressful time. As such, you must ensure that you are represented by a team of extradition solicitors who will stand by you every step of the way, whist demonstrating strong, proven capabilities in this complex field of the law.
Our experienced and specialist team, know what is required to build the most comprehensive defence for you. They have detailed knowledge of The Extradition Act (2003), and a genuine network of international connections with an excellent track record of success. They adopt an innovative and determined approach to all their cases and are experts at advising clients throughout all extradition proceedings.
Our Extradition Services:
- Extradition Requests · Challenging European Arrest Warrants · Challenging non-EU extradition · Category 1 & 2 Territories · Bail Applications · Extradition proceedings · Challenging extradition requests in court · Voluntary Surrenders · Interpol Red Notice Challenges · Representations to the Secretary of State · Appeals · Politically motivated extradition and economic extradition · Human rights challenges · Plea Bargaining · Sentence Reduction · Arguing over the passage of time