P.A.Duffy & Co Solicitors is well known for its expertise and experience in protecting the interests of clients in complex and technical matters of extradition law. We fight extradition requests, under the European Arrest Warrants (EAW) scheme.
We can advise clients prior to the issue of an arrest warrant and ensure legal representation throughout legal proceedings from the point of arrest, at Court and through the appeals process, including the Supreme Court.
Extraditing is a legal process by which a requesting state can apply for the arrest and surrender of a person from another state, for the purpose of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence.
Extradition requests from and out of the United Kingdom are governed by the Extradition Act 2003 which came into force on 1 January 2003. It is aimed to provide a new simplified system of surrender of accused and convicted/sentenced persons. We regularly act in all aspects of serious and complex crimes involving both category 1 and category 2 territories at both first instance and appellate stages including appeals to the Supreme Court.
Appeals against Extradition
Where the extradition of a person has been ordered by the District Judge, within 7 days of the extradition order being made, the requested person may appeal against the District Judge’s decision to the High Court. However, the territory in which the extradition was issued, may also appeal to the High Court to contest this request.
The decisions of public bodies, where there is no other right of appeal, can be subject to Judicial Review and we at P A Duffy have the expertise to advise and deal with these.
Following a High Court decision, an appeal may be made to the Supreme Court. This can be initiated by the person issuing the extradition request. However, to do so, leave must be granted by either the High Court or the Supreme Court. An appeal to the Supreme Court may only concern a point of law of general public importance, and must be made within strict time limits.
In some cases, it may also be possible to make a further application for appeal to the European Court of Human Rights or for interim measures under Rule 39.
The Extradition process is extremely complex and requires specialist legal advice to ensure that you present the best case for resisting extraditing. The process depends on whether the country requesting your surrender falls under Part 1 or Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.
In all cases, there will be an initial hearing and an extradition hearing which will take place.
Depending on the outcome of the extradition hearing there may grounds for appeal to the High Court.
The hearing in respect of category 1 should normally take place within 21 days of arrest, unless parties apply for an extension “in the interest of justice”. At the hearing the District Judge decides whether the offence specified in the European Arrest Warrant is an extradition offence. If the District Judge is satisfied that the conduct amounts to an extradition offence, he must then consider whether the bars to extradition apply.
The District Judge is required to decide whether the person’s extradition would be compatible with the Convention rights within the understanding of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Our expert lawyers are available 24 hours a day, providing immediate, legal advice, representation and assistance during legal proceedings, ensuring the best interests of our clients.