How does extradition work in the UK? Has extradition changed since Brexit?
Since 2003, the UK has separated territories into two categories: Category 1 territories, and Category 2 territories
Category 1 Territories
The Home Secretary is not involved in these extradition requests. Typically, a European Arrest Warrant is submitted to the UK by one of these countries. Subject to a test of proportionality for extradition by the National Crime Agency, a certificate is then issued for the arrest of the accused in the UK.
The accused will then have two hearings in the UK; an initial hearing and an extradition hearing. At the initial hearing, the accused’s details are confirmed and they are asked if they consent to their extradition; if they do not, an extradition hearing is set up. At the extradition hearing, the judge will decide if the accused is extradited or not, following a test of proportionality and compatibility with the Human Rights Act. A person cannot be extradited if one of the limits on extradition – listed below (under What limits exist on extradition?) – apply.
The judge’s decision to extradite a person can be appealed to the High Court, and sometimes to the Supreme Court.
The UK still cooperates with European countries on extradition to a significant degree. So far, it does not appear that Brexit has been significantly restrictive on extradition to Category 1 territories.
Category 2 Territories
The UK still has formal agreements with these territories for extradition. There are 2 types of territories in this category: Category A and B.
Category A territories are listed on the right , and these countries do not have to provide prima facie evidence before requesting extradition.
Category B territories are listed on the right, and do have to provide prima facie evidence in support of their requests for extradition.
For both types of these Category 2 territories, the process is different from Category 1 territories. The country wishing to extradite the accused must Make an extradition request to the Secretary of State, who decides whether to certify the arrest. After this,
What about countries not listed above?
Every country listed so far has a formal extradition treaty/arrangement with the UK. These exist to make extradition easier, more convenience, and be more of a smooth process. However, one can still be extradited from the UK if a country not listed above requests your extradition, as Section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003 says.
These requests, are, however, subject to limits.
What limits exist on extradition?
Extradition is not a universal or guaranteed process even between countries that do have treaties; there are still certain requirements that need to be satisfied for the UK to decide to allow the accused to be extradited. The most common factors in deciding whether a person is extradited are:
If any of these requirements are not fulfilled, then extradition is not possible.
Does the UK extradite its own citizens?
Yes. The government says that “as a matter of principle”, it consents for its citizens to be extradited – provided the requirements above are met.
What is an Interpol Red Notice?
It is not:
Entirely public. Not all red notices are given out to the public – in fact, less than 1/6th are. Only in cases whether the public’s help is required or the individual sought poses a threat to public safety is the Red Notice given out publicly. Typically, red notices are provided to police forces instead.
How is a Red Notice issued?
What other types of notices are there?
Red notices are not always correct
What is the aim of a red notice?
This returns us to extradition– in which legal assistance is essential if you want a fighting chance at not being extradited. There are conditions to Interpol’s extraditions/red notices too – it refuses to issue them for, for example, predominantly political requests.
Can I fight extradition?
Yes, absolutely. Contact Sterling Law and we will help you every step of the way.CONSULTATION
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Is it procedurally unfair for the Home Office to refuse an application due to the applicant’s sponsor (i.e. their employer) failing to provide additional information (without the applicant ever being made aware of the request)?
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