Extradition Barristers

Why should I choose 25 Bedford Row for an extradition barrister?

  • Extradition barristers at 25 Bedford Row offer advice to individuals in the UK concerned about extradition to other jurisdictions, and individuals abroad who are concerned about extradition to the UK.
  • Our extradition barristers are experienced in representing individuals facing extradition proceedings both within the EU and internationally.
  • Our leading extradition barristers are regularly at the forefront of the development of the law in this complex and technical area.  
  • We consider issues of deportation, surrender and prisoner transfer as part of a holistic approach when a charge is pending.
  • We are experienced in dealing with evidence and material from other jurisdictions obtained through requests for mutual legal assistance requests.  We are aggressive in mounting challenges to the admissibility of such evidence by reference to the political regimes of the responding states.
  • Where evidence from a foreign jurisdiction would assist the defence, our extradition specialist barristers are well versed in seeking letters of request from the court, such evidence can make the crucial difference to the outcome of a case.
  • We offer advice and advocacy in relation to applications to the High Court for habeas corpus and judicial review proceedings.
  • We represent defendants and foreign governments in proceedings before the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), including Rule 34 and Rule 39 applications.
  • We offer advice regarding removal of INTERPOL Red Notices.

Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance FAQ

What is the extradition process?

Extradition is the formal procedure for requesting the surrender of a person from one territory to another to be prosecuted, or to be sentenced for an offence for which the person has already been convicted, or to carry out of a sentence that has already been imposed.

Why choose an extradition barrister from 25 Bedford Row?

Extradition barristers at 25 Bedford Row have acted in some of the most complex and high-profile extradition cases, ranging from war crimes cases to multinational frauds. Our members have experience advising and acting for requested persons at all levels. As a criminal defence chambers, extradition barristers at 25 Bedford Row are able to bring their unrivalled expertise in witness handling to bear in cases which require you to give evidence about your private and family life or involve cross examination of expert witnesses.

Extradition cases require lawyers to apply the utmost care to procedural compliance; especially in the early stages of a case. Extradition barristers at 25 Bedford Row will ensure that no hearing in your case is treated as routine and provide you with the highest quality of service throughout.

What types of extradition cases do 25 Bedford Row’s extradition barristers take on?

Our extradition barristers are experienced in representing individuals facing extradition proceedings both within the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system and internationally. We provide the highest level of advice and representation at every level of extradition proceedings, from Westminster Magistrates’ Court to appeals to the Divisional and Administrative Courts and Supreme Court.

In October 2015, three members of 25 Bedford Row successfully secured the discharge of their clients (accused of genocide offences) in the longest running, and one of the most complex, extradition proceedings at first instance, including an interlocutor appeal to the supreme court: Brown et al. v Government of the Republic of Rwanda (2013-2015).

Can I apply for bail during extradition proceedings?

All requested persons are entitled to apply for bail. Like in criminal proceedings, there is a presumption in favour of bail in extradition proceedings where there has not yet been a conviction in the requesting state. The requesting state will often make objections in court to the requested person being granted bail on the basis of the likelihood that the person will not attend or will commit further offences. Because there is often an accusation that the person has ‘escaped justice’ in the original country, evidence of ties to the United Kingdom and the provision of a cash deposit to the court to secure bail are particularly important.

What reasons are there for the Court to refuse an extradition request?

The grounds on which extradition can be barred by the Court are set out in Parts 1 and 2 of the Extradition Act 2003, and also within multi and bilateral extradition treaties. Our extradition barristers have particular expertise in identifying and arguing points arising from the European Convention on Human Rights, but are also skilled in conducting technical and procedural arguments.

Some of the most common bars are:

  • 'Double jeopardy'; a person must not be prosecuted or sentenced in respect of an offence that he has already been convicted or acquitted of.
  • Extraneous considerations; the request will be refused if the purpose of the request is deemed to be to prosecute or punish the person on account of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions, or if extradited the person might be prejudiced at his trial or punished unfairly for any of these reasons.
  • Passage of time; the request will be refused if it would be oppressive to prosecute or punish the person for the extradition offence due to the age of the alleged offence.
  • Absence of specialty provisions;
  • Earlier extradition of the wanted person to the United Kingdom;
  • Human rights; extradition will be refused if it would not be compatible with the person's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act.
  • Physical or mental condition; if it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite the wanted person on these grounds the extradition request will either be refused or adjourned until the condition improves.
  • Proportionality; in relation to EAW cases where the requested person is wanted for prosecution, extradition must not take place if the judge decides that extradition would be disproportionate taking into account the seriousness of the conduct alleged to constitute the extradition offence, the likely penalty and the possibility of  the foreign authorities taking less coercive measures than extradition.

                              

Can I appeal if my extradition is ordered in the Magistrates’ Court?

There is no automatic right to appeal in extradition proceedings. A requested person may apply for leave to appeal the judge’s decision to order his extradition to the High Court, provided he did not consent. The legislation allows an appeal to be brought on a question of law or fact, but now specifies that the decision to bring an appeal 'lies only with the leave of the High Court.' Applications for leave to appeal have to be made to the High Court and a judge will determine whether or not the threshold is passed. The decision will be made on paper initially and will be made on the 'reasonably arguable' test.

In Part 1 (EAW) cases, the party who wishes to appeal will have to lodge a notice of application for leave to appeal within 7 days from the day the order for extradition is made. In Part 2 cases, the party who wishes to appeal will have to lodge a notice of application for leave to appeal within 14 days starting with the day on which the Secretary of State for the Home Department informed the requested person of the order against him. These time limits include weekends and bank holidays.

The requested person cannot be returned to the requesting state while an appeal is outstanding.

The procedure and time limits for applying for leave to appeal are very strict. Extradition barristers at 25 Bedford Row will help guide you through the appeal process offering comprehensive advice throughout.

If the application for leave to appeal is refused on paper, our extradition barristers can advise you on the merits of renewing the application for permission at an oral hearing.

Useful links:

Further details on extradition can be found here:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/fact_sheets/extradition/ and

https://www.gov.uk/extradition-processes-and-review  

The Extradition Act can be seen at www.legislation.gov.uk.

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