Experts in defending Extradition
UK Extradition Solicitors
If an attempt is being made to extradite you to another country, our legal team can provide you with the best legal advice and representation available in England and Wales.
Our team has spent years focusing on the niche areas of extradition; criminal defence, white-collar crime and fraud. We have built an enviable reputation for the quality of our representation and responsiveness to the needs of clients, translating to high levels of client satisfaction. Our solicitors have a strong knowledge of the complex law surrounding extradition and understand how to fight it effectively.
To contact our extradition solicitors, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our London office.
Our team focus heavily on providing quality legal service and exceptional client care. We recruit talented solicitors who have a razor-sharp understanding of the areas in which we practice.
What is extradition?
Extradition is the legal process by which one territory asks another to return a person wanted by them so that individual can stand trial or serve a sentence imposed by the requesting territory.
The Extradition Act 2003 presides over the UK’s extradition regime. It applies to all extradition requests issued on or after 1st January 2004. The Extradition Act 1989 covers all requests for extradition made prior to this date.
The UK has extradition arrangements with more than 120 territories.
These territories are designated as either Part 1 or Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.
Part 1 territories are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Part 2 territories are: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Haiti, Iceland, India, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, FYR Malawi Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, The Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
What is the extradition process?
The process of making a request to extradite a person and the way the extradition is managed depends on the whether the requesting country is listed in Part 1 or 2.
Part 1 procedures
All Part 1 extraditions are dealt with by the National Crime Agency. Part 1 countries are all EU member states (Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory). Part 1 implements the European Union Framework Decision of 13th June 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant and the surrender procedures between the Member States.
A European Arrest Warrant can only be issued if all elements of section 2 of the Extradition Act 2003 are satisfied. Examples include; the circumstances of the alleged offence and the sentence which may be imposed in the other EU Member State.
Once the European Arrest Warrant has been certified by the National Crime Agency, the person being extradited must be brought before the court as soon as practicable.
At the initial hearing, the judge must confirm the identity of the requested person, inform them of the relevant extradition procedure and fix a date for the extradition hearing (unless the requested person consents to their extradition).
Part 2 procedures
Requests from Part 2 territory extraditions are dealt with by the Home Office. The Secretary of State for the Home Department will check if the request for extradition is legally valid. If it is, she will certify the request for extradition and ask the courts to issue an arrest warrant.
If the relevant information has been supplied by the Home Office, the court will issue an arrest warrant. This will be actioned by the Metropolitan Police Extradition Squad. Once an arrest has been made, the person subject to the extradition order will be brought before the court as soon as possible.
Can I claim asylum to avoid extradition?
Most people will be familiar with the case of Julian Assange; the Wikileaks founder who successfully sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and has lived there since 2012.
Although under international law, embassies are considered to be territories of the foreign nation whose diplomates work there, this does not mean the host country may not attempt to ‘break sanctuary’. For example, when Julian Assange first fled into the Ecuadorian embassy, the British government considered invoking the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act (1987), allowing for the revocation of a building's diplomatic status if the foreign power occupying it "ceases to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post."
"Diplomatic immunity exists to allow embassies and diplomats to exercise proper diplomatic functions and the harbouring of alleged criminals, or frustrating the due legal process in a country, is not a permitted function", William Hague said at the time.
The Secretary of State may refuse to certify an extradition request if a defendant has been recorded as a refugee or has been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK on the ground that his or her removal to the requesting territory would breach Article 2 or Article 3, of the European Convention on Human Rights.
It is always better to seek expert legal advice if you are facing extradition than trying to seek asylum. Our extradition lawyers will provide you with advice and representation based on years of knowledge and experience.
What reasons are there to avoid extradition?
The are several grounds on which we can argue that your extradition should not be granted, known as Bars to Extradition; these include:
- It is disproportionate to extradite the person for the offence/sentence they are wanted for in the requesting state
- the extradition is politically motivated
- there is a risk that by handing you over to the requesting State, your human rights will be breached, i.e. you risk being tortured or facing an unfair trial
- you are facing ‘double jeopardy’, i.e. being prosecuted for the same offence twice
We have successfully represented numerous individuals facing extradition and have multi-lingual lawyers with vast experience of this complex subject who can advise and represent you.
If you are facing an extradition order, please call us immediately on 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.