Extradition Law

The criminal solicitors at JMW are experienced in successfully defending extradition requests, and we have considerable knowledge on EU and non-EU extradition proceedings. 

Our clients facing extradition also benefit from the close working relationship we have with a vast network of international lawyers.

To speak to a solicitor if an extradition request has been made against you, contact our London-based team on 0203 675 7600 or complete an online enquiry form to let us know a convenient time to call you back.

How JMW Can Help

Our team has helped many individuals facing a potential extradition request, including advising clients before proceedings commence, and handling Interpol red notices, as well as European Arrest Warrant (EAW) extradition matters. We provide advice on the technical, statutory and human rights challenges available and will compile a compelling defence to protect you from these requests.

If we are unable to avoid extradition proceedings through negotiation with the relevant authorities, we will provide advice and guidance to help you arrive at the best possible outcome.

JMW’s business crime team offers a unique service, as we are able to draw upon the experience of other departments within the firm, including immigration, dispute resolution, family law, and reputation and media.

We can also ensure that appropriate protections are in place should an extradition request be made, such as putting forward a persuasive bail package and liaising with specialist lawyers in the requesting country. Due to the complexities involved in extradition, seeking legal advice as early as possible is vital to help you achieve a favourable outcome.

The Extradition Process

Extradition is the process by which a person is transferred, often against their will, to face prosecution, trial or sentencing in another country.

A person can be liable for extradition if they are accused, or convicted of, a crime in a foreign country. Countries without an existing extradition arrangement with the UK are able to extradite individuals through special circumstances.

If an arrest is made, a bail application must be created and presented to the court. When an extradition request is made, the team will thoroughly review the request and the circumstances surrounding it, looking for opportunities to challenge it. 

Challenges to extradition include:

  • Human rights considerations, such as the right to a fair trial, the right to a family life, and the right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Defence against specific content in the extradition request
  • UK exemptions, including the passage of time since the offending behaviour, double jeopardy, and the physical or mental health of the accused

Our team is well skilled in gathering the best evidence to support any challenges to extradition.


How does extradition from the EU work?

Extradition from EU Member States (known as Category 1 territories) is subject to the provisions in the Extradition Act 2003. An EAW will be made that is examined and certified by the National Crime Agency, which results in the arrest of the accused who is taken to Westminster Magistrates’ Court - the only court in England and Wales to deal with extradition proceedings.

Once the court has examined the warrant and deemed it in order, it will then establish whether the subject of the EAW consents to extradition. If consent is given within 21 days, there must be a full hearing where the case can be argued properly and the defence can be presented.

How does extradition from non-EU countries work?

Extradition requests from non-EU countries are handled in a similar way to EU member states. There are more than 100 countries that have extradition arrangements with the UK, including Switzerland, Norway, USA, Canada and Australia - these are known as Category 2 territories.  

A request for extradition from a non-EU country is reviewed by a District Judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and if satisfied, a warrant for arrest will be issued. 

In addition to Category 1 and 2 territories, there are numerous agreements in place with other countries; however, the position changes if political difficulties arise or diminish.

Talk to Us

If you need assistance defending yourself against an extradition request, contact our criminal solicitors today by calling 0203 675 7600. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form and let us know a convenient time to call you. 

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