Extradition Case Law Updates – May 2011

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Sitek v Circuit Court in Swidnica, Poland, 27 May 2011

The Administrative Court, in allowing the appellant’s appeal in part, held that the dual criminality requirement under s 64(3)(b) of the Extradition Act 2003 had not been satisfied in relation to two of the alleged offences. The offences concerned were said to be offences of acquiring or possessing criminal property. Whilst for two of the four relevant offences the description had given rise to an inference of knowledge or suspicion as required by ss 329 and 340 of the 2002 Act. In the case of the two remaining offences, it had not been possible to conclude that the conduct alleged included matters that had been capable of sustaining the necessary finding of knowledge or suspicion for the purposes of the relevant offence in English law (see paras 27, 31-32, 37 of judgment).


R. (on the application of Bingham) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, 11 May 2011

In an application to discharge, following numerous applications to extend time for removal the court held, in dismissing the application that the power to discharge an extraditee under the Extradition Act 2003 s.36(8) could not be exercised during the currency of a “required period”, as defined by s.36(3). The thrust of s.36(8) was directed at circumstances where, at the time of the application, the extraditing authority had no power to further detain the extraditee in the absence of an extension or agreed required period, or a reasonable excuse for a delay in extraditing, and had to justify the extraditee’s continuing detention (see para.26 of judgment).


R. (on the application of HH) v Westminster City Magistrates’ Court, 11 May 2011

The case concerns extradition request relating to a husband and wife (P and H), who have three children in this country for whom P was the principal carer. If the extraditions went ahead, the children would have to be cared for by social services which, it was argued would be a breach of Article 8. In dismissing the appeal, the court held that although the best interests of affected children were a primary consideration in extradition cases, they could not generally override the public interest in effective extradition procedures, ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 4, [2011] 2 W.L.R. 148 considered. There had to be an exceptionally compelling feature giving rise to the gravest effects of interference with family life, Norris v United States [2010] UKSC 9, [2010] 2 A.C. 487 applied. In the instant case, although both H and P’s extradition would gravely disrupt their family life, there was no feature specific to the family which constituted so pressing and powerful a consideration to justify the discharge of both parents or either of them on art.8 grounds (see paras 60,65 of judgement).



July 2011