UK extradition law is a complicated form of international law that can pertain to foreigners convicted of a crime in the UK or UK citizens convicted of a crime in another country. While the laws regarding extradition include several important factors, it’s crucial to know a few, especially if you or someone you know find themselves in such a situation. So, this article discusses a few factors of UK extradition law. This article is focused only on England and Wales.

UK Extradition Law

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) can make an extradition request for any person (a British national) who are either accused or convicted of a crime overseas. Pre-Brexit, there were different rules for extraditing criminally-accused people from the EU. However, the UK’s departure from the EU meant that now all countries in the EU are treated like the others in terms of extradition requests.

The purpose of an extradition request, and thus, extradition itself, is to charge a convicted criminal in the correct jurisdiction. That is to say that a person being extradited to the UK will have to face the consequences of the law based in the UK.

Thus, prosecutors of the CPS in a Central Casework Division prepare the extradition requests to the UK. In most cases, the International Justice and Organised Crime Division handles these extradition requests. Once the request is prepared, the Home Office uses the diplomat channel to transmit it overseas, i.e., to the government of the country in which the person convicted is found.

UK Extradition from the UK

Another crucial aspect of UK extradition law is that it also pertains to foreigners who are accused or convicted of a crime in the UK. That is a case of extradition from the UK. Thus, another country’s government can make a request for extradition of that individual so that they may be charged in their home country for their crimes. In such cases, the CPS will conduct an extradition proceeding on a foreign authority’s behalf for the foreigner’s arrest in the UK. The foreigner may also be arrested after the extradition request. All extradition proceedings are carried out according to the 2003 Extradition Act.

It’s important to understand that extradition is not an automatic process. The individual will be brought to the Court of the Westminster Magistrates. The person being requested for extradition can mention whether they consent to the extradition or not. If they do not, a judge must determine if their case warrants extradition. There are a few factors that can work in the accused’s favour, including a claim of human rights infringement. If the judge determines that extradition, in a particular case, is against the accused’s human rights, then they will not allow the extradition.

Last Few Words

If you or anyone you know is ever caught up in an extradition case, it’s vital that you speak to trained and experienced solicitors in UK extradition law. There are some options to help protect you or those you know.