Ceylon graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Westminster. Throughout her years of study she has developed a keen interest in criminal law and aims to sit the Solicitors Qualifying Exam 1&2. Since joining the firm in June 2021, Ceylon has developed a wide range of knowledge in the complex area of extradition. She regularly prepares Magistrates and High Court extradition cases under the supervision of Giovanna Fiorentino. She frequently deals with clients who suffer from a range of disabilities and complex mental health problems and has built a great rapport with clients and their families. Ceylon has actively participated and prepared cases from various requesting states including: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey and USA.
T v REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO: The extradition of the Requested Person (‘RP’) was sought by Kosovo in relation to offences of robbery and possession of a firearm. The RP alleged that the sole evidence against him was a confession that had been extracted by the Police resorting to violence during the interrogation. Expert evidence, in addition to reports from various NGOs demonstrating the prevalence of this problem, was adduced in support at the substantive extradition hearing, the District Judge was satisfied that he could not “be sure that the confession was not obtained in the way described by the Requested Person”. He therefore excluded the confession. Given the absence of any further evidence linking the RP to the offences, he was obliged to discharge him under section 84 of the Extradition Act 2003.
S v ALBERTVILLE JUDICIAL COURT, FRANCE: The extradition of the Requested Person (‘RP’) was sought by France serve a 12-month sentence for assault. The RP’s trial took place in his absence, and he was found guilty. The JA did not assert that the RP was a fugitive from French justice. The District Judge was satisfied under s.20 (3) that the RP was convicted in his absence and did not deliberately absent himself from his trial or cause the delay in the intervening 8 years. The RP has since begun a relationship and is expecting a child. Vital evidence confirming that the RP’s co-defendant in France received the same sentence but successfully appealed and was given a sentence of 3-months imprisonment was put forward. On this basis, the District Judge discharged the RP pursuant to s.21 (2).
I v RUSSIAN FEDERATION: The extradition of the Requested Person (‘RP’) was sought by Russia to serve a sentence of 1 year and 6 months for fraud. This case began with the RP’s arrest in the UK in 2016. He contested extradition on various grounds, including the appalling prison conditions he feared he would be subjected to in Krasnodar. He insisted the fraud allegations against him were false, politically motivated and instigated by a business rival. The initial hearing involved a controversial expert report, however the expert and the Court accepted the government’s assurances as to the RP’s treatment and agreed that the Russian government could be trusted. However, the RP was not, in fact extradited as he absconded in 2018. Following his re-arrest in 2021, he was able to adduce fresh expert evidence from Professor Judith Pallot which completely undermined the previous expert’s report. The prison monitoring bodies, had since been stripped of any semblance of impartiality and served as an arm of the state to conceal the systemic abuse faced by prisoners. This abuse was confirmed by prison officer bodycam footage leaked online, of prisoners being raped, beaten and humiliated. The Russian invasion against Ukraine has further undermined any sense of trust in the Russian government’s promises, in particular given Krasnodar’s close proximity to Ukraine, its prisons are likely to host thousands of Ukrainian prisoners from both civilian and military populations which raises further concerns about the conditions of prison transport and overcrowding. It was ordered that the RP’s application for permission to re-open his appeal, pursuant to 108(5) Extradition Act 2001 was allowed and the decision of the Secretary of State to order extradition in 2016 was quashed.
M v REGIONAL COURT OF TORUN, POLAND: The extradition of the Requested Person was sought by Poland to serve a sentence of 2 years and 6 months for robbery. The District Judge was satisfied that the RP was convicted in his absence. He did not deliberately absent himself from the trial but was not produced from custody where he was serving a sentence for a separate offence. No information about the RP’s right to retrial was presented in the arrest warrant, and further information was sought from the Polish authorities. It was submitted on behalf of the RP that the response was insufficient to meet the requirements of section 20(8). Therefore, the RP’s discharge was ordered under section 20(7) Extradition Act 2003.