Extradition is the formal process through which one country requests the repatriation of a person to stand trial or serve a sentence in another country. The UK has extradition relationships with over 100 countries across the world under multilateral agreements and bilateral extradition treaties.
What Is the Process?
The requesting state makes contact with the UK authorities and requests extradition. A warrant may be issued against you, and court procedures may begin as a result.
If you are concerned that an extradition request will be made in the future, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can advise you on your alternatives.
Your case will be considered by a District Judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, unless there are special circumstances.
Following the completion of the formalities, the court will evaluate whether the extradition criteria have been met. In such situations, the Home Secretary will make the final judgement.
In some cases, a lawsuit can be resolved swiftly, but in others, a contested hearing will be required.
The exact procedure will be determined by the extradition regime being used, which differs between asking countries.
Do I Need a Solicitor?
The basic answer is yes. Extradition law is extremely complicated, and there are no circumstances in which attempting to find your way through it is appropriate.
Even if a duty solicitor is present to assist you at Court, you can urge that we be contacted for assistance — the earlier we are instructed in the proceedings, the more placed we will be to assist you.
In some circumstances, using specialist trained counsel (barristers) who specialise in extradition law will be appropriate.
Extradition lawyers with experience can advise you on the procedures and how an extradition request might be challenged.
Bars to Extradition
- rule against double jeopardy
- the absence of a prosecution decision (whether the prosecution case against the accused is sufficiently advanced)
- extraneous considerations (whether the request for extradition is improperly motivated)
- passage of time
- the requested person’s age
- speciality (the requested person must only be dealt with in the requested state for the offences for which they have been extradited)
- onward extradition (where the requested person has previously been extradited to the UK from a third county, and consent for onward extradition from that country is required but has not been forthcoming)
- forum (whether it would be more appropriate for the requested person to be prosecuted in the UK instead)
Extradition would be disproportionate or incompatible with the requested person’s human rights, the judge must consider (for example the right to family life is a person has been settled in this Country for some time). Extradition must be ordered if the judge determines it is both proportionate and compatible.
It’s worth noting that the procedure is different when the Home Secretary is making the ultimate extradition decision.
It is critical that all relevant evidence be provided at the hearing, which may include testimony from both domestic and international specialists.
Further appeals to the High Court and the Supreme Court are available in a considerable number of instances.
Is Funding Available?
Leave Nothing To Chance
The possibility of being deported to another country to face legal proceedings is terrifying; it is critical that you get professional help as soon as possible. Please get in touch.
How can we help?
We ensure we keep up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we are always best placed to advise you properly. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact our team of criminal defence specialists on: 01376 511819