Extradition Case Law Update – June 2011
Italy v. Merico (unreported) – 29th June 2011
In 1997, the Respondent (M) was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. M served 2 years of her sentence before being released and leaving Italy for the UK. The District Judge refused to order her extradition on the basis that it would be oppressive due to the passage of time. The Italian Judicial Authority appealed the District Judge’s decision to discharge the Respondent.
HELD: Appeal dismissed. The District Judge was entitled to find that the passage of 12 years rendered the Respondent’s extradition oppressive. Taken together the fact that: the offences were committed a long time ago; M had been released 12 years ago having served 2 years imprisonment; had travelled and lived openly in the UK; had not committed any further offences and was a parent and caring for her terminally ill mother meant that in all the circumstances, extradition would be oppressive.
Halligen v. Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1584 (Admin) – 21st June 2011
HELD: Appeal dismissed. A letter, received by the Respondent from the Appellant declaring his intention to appeal the District Judge’s decision to order his extradition, did not amount to notice of appeal.
Rzeczkowski v. Provincial Court in Warsaw, Poland  EWHC 1698 (Admin) – 21st June 2011
In 1996, the Appellant (R) was convicted of attempted robbery and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. He was released on compassionate grounds in 1998. Following his release he was entitled to apply annually for his release to continue. If he applied successfully in three consecutive years, the release would become absolute. He failed to make the third application and moved to the UK.The District Judge did not accept that extradition would breach R’s Article 8 rights.
HELD: Appeal dismissed. This was a borderline case but notwithstanding the fact that: the Respondent took a very long time to pursue R; the offence was very old and that R had served 2 years of the sentence imposed, it was significant that R had chosen to absent himself from Poland and not behaved as a perfect citizen in the UK. The District Judge was right, in all the circumstances, to find that the very high threshold set in Norris had not been reached and extradition was compatible with Article 8 Convention rights.