Austria, Germany and Slovenia have recently confirmed their earlier statements that they would refuse UK extradition requests for their nationals once the UK ceases to be a member of the European Union (‘EU’), and have already officially informed the European Commission.
Following the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January 2020, the three countries stated that they would also decline UK extradition requests for their nationals during the 11 months transition period, even though the UK still remains governed by the European Arrest Warrant (‘EAW’).
In accordance with their respective constitutions, Austrian, German or Slovenian nationals cannot be extradited to non-EU countries, which now includes the UK. It is highly unlikely that these three countries would have any intentions of changing their constitutional provisions which govern this position.
In broad terms, under the EAW, an EU Member State has to extradite a person who has been charged with a criminal offence or sentenced to a prison sentence to the Member State which has issued the warrant.
According to recent press releases, while the UK Government pledged to pass laws to ensure the continuity of the system similar to the EAW after the transition period is over, the Home Office has stated that “[W]here a Member State cannot, for reasons related to fundamental principles of their national law, surrender an own national to the UK during the Implementation period, they will be expected to take over the trial or sentence of the person concerned”.
Gherson has extensive experience of extradition proceedings under the EAW. If you have any questions relating to extradition matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Solicitor in our General Immigration Team