When will an individual be extradited from the UK to a Category 2 country?


What is meant by extradition?

Extradition is the formal procedure for returning persons located in one country to another country for the purpose of criminal prosecution, to be sentenced for offences for which they have been convicted or for the carrying out of a sentence that has already been imposed.

Is there any legislation in England and Wales which deals with the extradition of people from our shores?

The Extradition of people out of the UK is covered by a piece of legislation called the Extradition Act 2003.

Extradition from the UK

Extradition from the UK can occur relating to two different categories of countries for that individual to be extradited to. They are as follows:

Extradition to Category 2 Countries

Extradition to Category 2 countries means any export extradition to all other countries – this can include other European Union countries which have not yet implemented the European Arrest Warrant.

In relation to a request for extradition from a category 2 country the arrest can be made in two different ways:

  1. A certified arrest

  2. A provisional arrest

Certified Arrest

A certified arrest will occur once the Home Secretary has issued a certificate and if the person has not already been provisionally arrested the police can apply to the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court for an arrest warrant.

Once the individual has been arrested they must be produced at the court as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Provisional Arrest

A provisional arrest will occur in circumstances of urgency whereby the requesting territory request the UK police to apply for an arrest warrant before the arrest has been certified. This warrant is known as a provisional warrant and can be executed by a police or customs officer.

Once the individual has been arrested they must be produced at the court as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Then what will happen?

The individual who has been arrested and who faces extradition from the UK will be subject to the following two hearings:

  1. An initial hearing

  2. An extradition hearing

Initial Hearing

An initial hearing will be performed immediately in front of a district judge who must inform the individual of the following things:

  • The individual must be informed of the content of the extradition request – prior to a certified request being issued

  • Explain to the individual why they have been arrested – following a certified request

  • Fix a date for the start of the extradition hearing – within two months

  • A decision on whether or not to grant bail or remand the individual in custody pending the Extradition Hearing

The Extradition Hearing

At the Extradition Hearing the District Judge must decide on the following issues:

  • Whether the documentation produced by the Home Secretary complies with the Extradition Act

  • Whether the offence is an extraditable offence

  • Whether there are any bars to extradition

  • Whether the extradition is compatible with the individual’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights

  • Whether the request contains admissible evidence of the offence sufficient to establish a prima facie case against the persons – does not apply in relation to extradition requests from USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

  • If the District Judge is satisfied he must send the case to the Home Secretary who will then decide on whether to make the extradition order.

Decision of the Home Secretary

The Home Secretary must make an extradition order within 2 months unless one of the following factors applies to the case:

  • The person has been, could be or will be sentenced to death

  • That there are no special arrangements in force with the requesting territory – these arrangements are in place to ensure that the person who has been extradited will only be dealt with in relation to the matters which were the reason for the extradition order

Is it possible to appeal the extradition order?

It is possible to appeal the decision of the Home Secretary with the case being heard by the Administrative Court. Notice to appeal must be given to the administrative court within 14 days of the extradition order being made. The appeal must be heard by the administrative court within 76 days of the notice.

What happens if there was no appeal or the appeal was unsuccessful?

Where no appeal has been filed extradition from the UK must occur within 28 days of the Home Secretary’s extradition order. If an appeal has been lodged but was unsuccessful extradition from the UK must occur within 28 days of the appeal hearing concluding.