Extradition

Clarke Kiernan can assist if you find yourself subject to extradition proceedings.

 

What are extradition proceedings?

Extradition is the process by which one country can request another country to surrender an individual to face criminal proceedings.

Where do extradition proceedings take place?

Extradition proceedings always begin in Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. 

Anyone arrested under an extradition warrant, no matter where in England and Wales, is taken in custody to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the first hearing.  A bail application can be made at this hearing.  If the extradition proceedings are to be contested, the matter is adjourned for a full Extradition Hearing to take place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on another date. 

If the Magistrates’ Court orders extradition after an Extradition Hearing, the defence can appeal to the High Court subject to a strict deadline.

 

Is legal aid available?

Legal aid is available for extradition proceedings in some case.

For the proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court, legal aid is means tested.  For any appeal proceedings in the High Court, legal aid is not means tested.

 

What if I do not qualify for legal aid?

Clarke Kiernan can offer competitive private rates for those who do not qualify for legal aid. 

 

If I have been extradited to another country, can I be given bail to allow me to stay in the UK whilst I await trial?

If you are extradited to another European Union (‘EU’) member state under a European Arrest Warrant (‘EAW’), it is possible for that EU member state to use Council Framework Decision 2009/829/JHAto grant ‘Eurobail’.  This makes it possible for a court in another EU member state to grant bail to British defendant by requesting that the judicial authorities the UK supervise his conditions of bail (such as electronic curfew or conditions to sign on at his local police station) until he returns to the other country to face trial.

The importance of Eurobail to a defendant cannot be overstated as time spent in pre-trial detention can often be very lengthy.

It remains to be seen whether the Eurobail system will be available to British citizens post-Brexit.

 

Whom should I contact if I need help?

In the event of an arrest under an extradition warrant, Clarke Kiernan can be contacted any time of day or night on our office number.

For more general non-urgent enquiries, please feel free to contact David Dinkeldein in our Extradition Team during office hours.

David has extensive previous experience dealing with extradition proceedings.  He has assisted clients in extradition proceedings involving allegations of financial crime (such as tax evasion and money laundering) and more general criminal conduct.  His work on extradition cases has often required communication with lawyers in different jurisdictions to help achieve the best results for his clients.  

David has previously successfully challenged extradition proceedings brought by France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Romania.  Such challenges have included arguments regarding technical deficiencies in the warrant, passage of time and human rights.