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The Extradition Act 2003

The Extradition Act 2003 explained

The Extradition Act 2003 regulates all extradition in the UK. The first two Parts of the Act deal with 'export-extradition' out of the UK. Part 1 deals with extradition under the European Arrest Warrant system and Part 2 deals with all other requests.

Part 1 of the Extradition Act

Countries under Part 1 of the Act:

Austria Germany The Netherlands
Belgium Gibraltar Poland
Bulgaria Greece Portugal
Croatia Hungary Romania
Cyprus Ireland Slovakia
Czech Republic Italy Slovenia
Denmark Latvia Spain
Estonia Lithuania Sweden
Finland Luxembourg  
France Malta  

These countries all make extradition requests through the European Arrest Warrant system.

The European Arrest Warrant

European Arrest Warrants facilitate the rapid return of fugitives to the requesting country throughout any of the member states listed above.

The system is based on and interpreted by UK courts with mutual respect for the legal systems of each member country. This makes resisting extradition from Category 1 territories extremely difficult and one will need to put forward an extremely strong case in order to defeat the extradition request.

Extradition Process under Part 1:

  1. The warrant is transmitted to the National Crime Agency
  2. The warrant is certified and becomes executable by UK law officials
  3. On arrest, the requested person is taken to Westminster Magistrates Court
  4. An initial hearing is held where an extradition hearing date is set
  5. At the extradition hearing, the judge will decide whether there are any bars to extradition and whether the person should be 'surrendered' to the requesting country.

Due to the speed at which this system operates it is crucial to obtain effective representation as soon as possible.

Part 2 of the Extradition Act

Countries under Part 2 of the Act:

Albania Guyana Peru
Algeria Hong Kong The Republic of Korea
Andorra Haiti Russian Federation
Antigua & Barbuda Iceland St. Christopher & Nevis
Argentina India St. Lucia
Armenia Iraq St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Australia Israel San Marino
Azerbaijan Jamaica Serbia
The Bahamas Kenya Seychelles
Bangladesh Kiribati Sierra Leone
Barbados Lesotho Solomon Islands
Belize Liberia South Africa
Bolivia Libya Sri Lanka
Bosnia & Herzegovina Liechtenstein Swaziland
Botswana Macedonia Switzerland
Brazil Malawi Tanzania
Brunei Malaysia Thailand
Canada Maldives Tonga
Chile Mauritius Trinidad & Tobago
Colombia Mexico Turkey
Cook Islands Moldova Tuvalu
Cuba Monaco Uganda
Dominica Montenegro Ukraine
Ecuador Nauru Uruguay
El Salvador New Zealand The United Arab Emirates
Fiji Nicaragua The United States of America
The Gambia Nigeria Vanuatu
Georgia Norway Western Samoa
Ghana Panama Zambia
Grenada Papua New Guinea Zimbabwe
Guatemala Paraguay  

 

Extradition Process under Part 2:

  1. An extradition request is made to the Secretary of State
  2. If certified, the request is forwarded to the court and an arrest warrant is issued
  3. On arrest the defendant is brought to Westminster Magistrates' Court for an initial hearing and a date for an extradition hearing will be set
  4. At the extradition hearing, a judge will determine whether there are any bars to extradition and decides whether the case should be sent to the Secretary of State for a decision
  5. The Secretary of State will decide whether or not to extradite

Under Part 2 some countries are still required to produce evidence regarding the offence itself but this requirement has been removed in many instances.