Extradition & Interpol

overview

Extradition

The specialist practitioners in 9 Bedford Row’s extradition team have considerable experience in appearing on behalf of requested persons and foreign governments alike. We act in cases involving European arrest warrants and Arrest warrants, which EU Member States issue, domestically known as ‘Part 1’ cases, and proceedings involving requests from other countries, such as Albania, Australia, Switzerland and the United States of America, referred to as ‘Part 2’ cases.

Our barristers advise requested persons prior to arrest and provide representation throughout proceedings, from first appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to the conclusion of any appeal before the High Court or the Supreme Court. Our Members were also instructed in the UK’s only referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the European arrest warrant scheme. Despite the UK’s departure from the bloc, EU law will continue to influence domestic extradition proceedings and our team has particular knowledge in this area.

Our international expertise means that Members are well placed to advise in ‘crisis’ type situations and appear in challenging cases involving war crimes and crimes against humanity, political motivation, abuse of process, and legal challenges arising from differences between civil and common law systems.

9 Bedford Row’s reputation and experience in international law guarantees access to a broad network of legal and other subject experts in Europe and beyond. Drawing on our network, we are able to work in tandem with lawyers in requesting states to obtain evidence to resist extradition or to advocate for alternatives such as mutual legal assistance or inter-state prisoner transfer. These mechanisms have recently changed between the UK and EU on account of Brexit. We are able to navigate clients through the relevant provisions.

In the Trade and Cooperation Agreement 2020 (TACA), the UK and EU agreed new surrender provisions creating a bespoke Arrest warrant, which is modelled on a similar arrangement between the EU and Norway/Iceland. Whilst extradition requests from the EU continue to be ‘processed’ under Part 1 of the Extradition Act, there are notable differences between the Framework Decision, which created the European arrest warrant, and the new Arrest warrant. This creates fertile territory for litigation on topics such as proportionality, human rights and dual criminality. Through our relationship with industry publication Crimeline, our Members have the led the way in analysing the new security cooperation measures. Our expertise has been recognised since our Members are instructed in some of the first Arrest Warrant cases before the UK courts.

In January 2021, the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Act 2020 came into force. This allows individuals to be arrested on INTERPOL Red Notices where certain ‘trusted partners’, including Australia, Canada, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America, seek detention for purposes of extradition for serious offences. Our team is based in London and can swiftly advise and provide representation to individuals arrested under this scheme.

9 Bedford Row are committed to holding requesting states to account where they infringe the rights of those already extradited, e.g. in unjustified pre-trial detention in accusation cases. Our Members can also assist requested persons facing extradition to England and Wales. We can provide expert evidence on English criminal law and procedure as well as advice on the mechanisms the UK uses to obtain those wanted abroad. Our extradition barristers are able to work with local lawyers to take international law arguments through the national system before pursuing complaints in international fora such as the European Court of Human Rights or UN bodies.

INTERPOL Red Notices

In recent years, INTERPOL Red Notices have been used increasingly by states as an abuse of power to harass and intimidate individuals, particularly in countries where the rule of law is not respected.

Our extradition barristers have significant experience in assisting clients with successfully challenging INTERPOL Red Notices. Members of our team have successfully lobbied INTERPOL’s Commission for Control of INTERPOL’s Files for deletion of data on numerous occasions. Members are able to advise on challenging questions of confidentiality, pre-emptive requests, diffusions, blue or green notices and the use of other international mechanisms to build the case for deletion.

Our specialist Interpol Red Notice Desk aims at helping individuals to find out more about personal information held by Interpol, notices pending or issued and how to seek their removal.

Recent and notable cases

Extradition

Celczynski v Poland [2019] EWHC 3450 (Admin), [2020] 4 W.L.R. 21, [2019] 12 WLUK 181 - Case considering the extent of the High Court’s judicial review jurisdiction in extradition proceedings: judicial review is available to correct illegality in appropriate exceptional cases where the court does not have jurisdiction to deal with that illegality under the appeal provisions of the Extradition Act 2003.

Szatkowski v Poland [2019] EWHC 883 (Admin) / [2019] 1 W.L.R. 4528 – Case developing the interpretation of s 20 of the Act in light of Article 4a(1)(c) of the EAW Framework Decision and the EU law principle of conforming interpretation.

X v Spain, 2019 – Challenge to unjustified pre-trial detention in Spain following extradition from a non-EU country (European Court of Human Rights).

Ireland v J, 2019 – Case involving a challenge to the extradition of a man accused of 42 serious sexual offences including multiple allegations of rape.

Poland v K – Prosecution of a complex unlawful banking / fraudulent loans scheme involving 2,981 offences and extensive dual criminality arguments.

UK v K, 2019 – Import extradition from the Netherlands where a UK EAW warrant alleging historic sex offences raised questions of abuse of process under Dutch law.

Pillar-Neumann v Austria [2017] EWHC 3371 (Admin) –Landmark case in which the High Court discharged the requested person on the grounds of passage of time.

Georgia v Kezerashvili, 2016 – Extradition proceedings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, in a case involving multiple extradition requests for the former Defence Minister of Georgia.

Wilby and Halliday v. Czech Republic [2012] EWHC 1006 (Admin) – Case involving a challenge to extradition to the Czech Republic for serious drug trafficking offences.

Istanek v. Czech Republic [2011] EWHC 1498 (Admin) – Case involving submissions pursuant to section 2 of the Extradition Act 2003; specifically, whether a right to retrial was inconsistent with a fugitive being a convicted person for the purposes of extradition.

Italy v Barone [2010] EWHC 3004 (Admin) – Case seeking the extradition of a man for offences of aggravated murder, attempted robbery and illegal possession and carrying of arms. The case involved legal argument on abuse of process and delay pursuant to section 14 of the Extradition Act 2003.

INTERPOL Red Notices

Sayed Abdellatif v INTERPOL / Egypt – Red notice arising from torture evidence used in a mass trial violated Article 2 of INTERPOL’s Constitution.

W v INTERPOL / Sri Lanka – Public red notice against prominent refugee blogger ultimately removed following detailed submissions on political motivation.

X v INTERPOL / Italy – Removal of an unjustified diffusion / green notice limiting freedom of movement in the context of a pending money-laundering trial

K v INTERPOL / Georgia – Removal of red notice which failed to respect Article 3 of the INTERPOL constitution due to its predominant political motive.

Extradition & Interpol Profile

Contact

020 7489 2727

“9 Bedford Row are emerging as keen players in the field of extradition. They have a well respected presence.” Chambers has “grown rapidly in recent years, expanding its extradition and international team and who are now a mainstay of the London extradition Bar.”

Legal 500, 2022