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Recognised leading law practitioners
What is Extradition?
Extradition is the official process whereby one country transfers an individual who is accused or convicted of a criminal offence to another country. This may be requested to enable the requesting country to try the individual on outstanding criminal charges or to ensure that they serve their sentence (if they have already been convicted).
The relevant primary legislation in the UK is the Extradition Act 2003. The Act is divided into two parts:
Part 1 covers the extradition to countries falling under Category 1 terrortories. These territories are the other Member States of the European Union and Gibraltar. Requests are made by the issuing of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). The EAW enables a constable to arrest the individual and produce him/her to Westminster Magistrates’ Court where the extradition process begins.
Part 2 of the Act regulates those individuals being sought from countries that fall under Category 2 territories. At present there are in the region of 100 countries included in this list. Countries in this list make an extradition request which is considered by the Secretary of State and a decision is made whether to certify the request. If it is certified, a district judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court decides whether to issue an arrest warrant.
There is uncertainty regarding the impact on extradition proceedings, as well as international co-operation generally, of the depature of teh UK from the withdrawal agreement with the European Union ('EU'), currenty set for 31 December 2020. It is likely that the UK will cease to be part of the EAW scheme as the UK Government will no longer accept the over-riding jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is a fundamental part of the operation of the EAW process. We continue to monitor the position very carefully.
This is a complicated and specialised area of the law but we are very experienced practitioners in this field. There are often more important human rights protections for defendants and the interrelationship between extradition and human rights is crucial.
Colin Nott is regarded as having particular expertise in this field and has been invited to instruct not only magistrates and court clerks but also those in other jurisdictions as to the practicalities and realities of procedures and outcome.
Stuart McDonald is also a very experienced and recognised able practitioner in this area of the law.
We have represented clients facing extradition all over the world which include:
Australia & New Zealand