Extradition Successes before the High Court

The Extradition Team at Lansbury Worthington continues to have a number of high profile and precedent setting cases before the High Court. Recent examples include the following:

Wawrzyczek v Poland

High Court quashes district judge’s order for extradition.

On 9 October 2015, Supperstone J. handed down judgment in the case of Wawrzyczek v Poland in which he found that extradition would breach section 20 of the Extradition Act 2003. Section 20 provides that extradition is barred in circumstances where a person has been convicted in their absence, without their knowledge, and where they are not entitled to a retrial if returned.

In so finding, Supperstone J. quashed District Judge Ikram’s finding that the appellant had deliberately absented himself from the trial processes in Poland, and further found that the district judge had been wrong to prohibit the appellant from relying on further evidence following the extradition hearing. This evidence undermined the prosecution’s position that the appellant had been served personally with notification of the trial processes in Poland, which in turn fatally undermined the district judge’s assessment of the appellant’s credibility.

The Extradition Team at Lansbury Worthington worked closely with Graeme Hall who was instructed to represent the appellant.

Jerzy Borkowski

This was successful appeal before the High Court where the appellant had not contested extradition in relation to two European Arrest Warrants (EAW) at first instance. Both warrants related to convictions for driving offences in the late 1990s. Following legal argument, it was conceded by the CPS that the first EAW was invalid. Foskett J allowed the appellant's appeal in relation to the second warrant on the basis that there had been unexplained and significant delay, the appellant had a secure and family life in the UK, and had spent 4 months in custody in this jurisdiction.

Skraba v Poland

This case involved jurisdictional issues, this was a successful extradition costs challenge in the High Court in which it was argued that the Admin Court had jurisdiction to review costs orders as part of the statutory appeal.

Celinski and Others [2015] EWHC 1274 Admin

This is now the leading case on the High Court’s appellate jurisdiction in extradition appeals involving Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in which the Lord Chief Justice determined whether extradition appeals could only be interfered with on grounds of reasonableness (the ‘Wednesbury’ Grounds). An application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court is pending.

District Court Bratislava III v Richard Katrencik [2014] EWHC 2062 (Admin)

This was the first case in which the proportionality of mandatory sentencing was argued on the basis of the European Court of Human Rights decision in Harkins v United Kingdom. It concerned the compatibility of mandatory sentencing for drugs offences in Slovakia with Article 3 European Convention on Human Rights.